Pregnant women still vitamin D deficient despite advice

UNIVERSAL supplementation with vitamin D has been called for, after research showed many pregnant women are not getting the adequate intake of the vitamin.

A cross-sectional study showed more than half the women were not taking vitamin D supplements, despite being recommended to do so. 

Those taking supplements were not getting enough, with 500 IU/day needed to prevent insufficiency.

The survey of 200 women attending antenatal clinics in Canberra and Campbelltown in NSW found 35% in Canberra and 25.7% in Campbelltown were vitamin D deficient or insufficient.

Among those who were vitamin D deficient, 38% were Caucasian.

Ethnicity, season, BMI and use of vitamin D supplements were the main predictive factors of suboptimal vitamin D levels.

Routine supplementation, particularly in the colder months, should be considered, the authors said, along with continued routine screening of those at highest risk of vitamin D