Vit D advice emphasises risk

The risk factors nominated by Australian and New Zealand experts include lack of skin exposure to sunlight, including from living at a southern latitude, having dark skin, obesity and other conditions affecting vitamin D metabolism and storage. 

“There are a lot of people who would have a risk factor,” conceded Professor Rebecca Mason, guidelines co-author and deputy director of the Bosch Institute at the University of Sydney. “The point is that so much is invested in a pregnancy that it seems silly… to miss vitamin D deficiency.”

However, the new advice stops short of recommending routine screening for all pregnant women.

“Although there is a case for routine screening of all pregnant women… there is geographic variation in the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficient evidence on the impact of... supplementation to support a stronger recommendation for universal screening,” it says.