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Low vitamin D during pregnancy linked to pre-eclampsia
Date:9/7/2007

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 7 Vitamin D deficiency early in pregnancy is associated with a five-fold increased risk of preeclampsia, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences reported this week in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A serious complication of pregnancy marked by soaring blood pressure and swelling of the hands and feet, preeclampsia is the leading cause of premature delivery and maternal and fetal illness and death worldwide, conservatively projected to contribute to 76,000 deaths each year. Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, affects up to 7 percent of first pregnancies, and health care costs associated with preeclampsia are estimated at $7 billion a year in the United States alone, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation.

Our results showed that maternal vitamin D deficiency early in pregnancy is a strong, independent risk factor for preeclampsia, said Lisa M. Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and lead author of the study. Women who developed preeclampsia had vitamin D concentrations that were significantly lower early in pregnancy compared to women whose pregnancies were normal. And even though vitamin D deficiency was common in both groups, the deficiency was more prevalent among those who went on to develop preeclampsia.

For this investigation, Dr. Bodnar and her colleagues evaluated data and banked blood samples taken from women and newborns between 1997 and 2001 at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and affiliated private obstetrician practices. Data were analyzed for 1,198 women enrolled in the Pregnancy Exposures and Preeclampsia Prevention Study, a prospective survey designed to examine factors that may predispose women to preeclampsia. Out of this group, 55 cases of preeclampsia and 220 controls were selected f
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Contact: Michele D. Baum
BaumMD@upmc.edu
412-647-3555
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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