Maternal vitamin D status, its associated factors and the course of pregnancy in Thai women

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There are limited data on the prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in pregnant women living in Southeast Asia and changes in their vitamin D status during pregnancy.


To determine the prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy, its predictive factors and the changes in vitamin D status during the course of pregnancy.

Design and patients

A prospective study of 120 pregnant Thai women with gestational age <14 weeks.


Serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and clinical data were obtained at the first visit, in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Vitamin D inadequacy was defined as 25OHD <75 nm.


The prevalences of vitamin D inadequacy were 83·3%, 30·9% and 27·4% for the first, second and third trimesters. The independent predictors of vitamin D inadequacy in the third trimester were not drinking vitamin-fortified milk (OR 11·42; 95% CI: 3·12–41·86), not taking prenatal vitamins (OR 9·70; 95% CI: 2·28–41·19) and having vitamin D deficiency in the first trimester (OR 10·58; 95% CI: 2·89–38·80). Vitamin D deficiency was not found in women taking prenatal vitamins. However, 20 women who took at least 400 IU/day of vitamin D from prenatal vitamins still had vitamin D insufficiency in the third trimester.


Vitamin D inadequacy is common in pregnant Thai women, especially in the first trimester. Vitamin D supplementation may be needed prior to conception and during pregnancy. For areas with abundant sun exposure like Thailand, vitamin D supplementation at 400 IU/day is likely to prevent vitamin D deficiency, but is inadequate to prevent vitamin D insufficiency even at 800 IU/day.

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