Maternal vitamin-D deficiency in Pakistan

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Abstract

Objective of the study.

This study was performed to assess the vitamin D status of healthy Pakistani nursing mothers and their breastfed infants.

Methods.

Seventy-one nursing mothers and their breastfed infants belonging to upper and lower socio-economic class were examined 6 weeks to 11 months after delivery. Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D], serum calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase were measured.

Results.

The mean serum 25(OH)D in mothers was 36.7±32.4 nmol/L and 41.25±35.4 nmol/L in infants. Thirty-four (48%) mothers and 37 (52%) infants had levels less than 25 nmol/L. Significantly higher levels were found in uneducated mothers (p=0.01), mothers of lower socio-economic class (p<0.001) and in those living in mud houses (p<0.001). A significant correlation was found between serum 25(OH)D levels of infants under three months of age and their mothers (p<0.01).

Conclusions.

High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was found in nursing mothers and their infants predominantly in the upper socioeconomic class.

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