Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and their newborns as seen at a tertiary-care center in Karachi, Pakistan

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Jan;112(1):59-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.07.034. Epub 2010 Nov 5.


Objective: To estimate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women in Karachi, Pakistan; correlate maternal and cord blood vitamin D deficiency; and assess possible predictors of vitamin D deficiency.

Methods: This observational, analytical, cross-sectional study was conducted with 50 consecutive women in labor presenting with a singleton term pregnancy at a large tertiary center in Karachi. Data were recorded on a special form, maternal blood was taken before delivery and cord blood was taken at delivery. All blood samples were analyzed for 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels. Comparisons were made using the Χ(2) test.

Results: The mean vitamin D levels were 24 ng/mL for the participants and 20 ng/mL for the newborns. Vitamin D sufficiency was noted in 11 (22%), insufficiency in 16 (32%), and deficiency in 23 (46%) of the 50 participants whereas sufficiency and deficiency, respectively, were noted in 6 (12%) and 44 (88%) of the newborns. There was a positive correlation between the vitamin D levels in maternal and cord blood (r=0.03; P<0.003). Maternal vitamin D levels were significantly affected by sunlight exposure (P<0.007) and quality of diet P<0.01).

Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency is high among pregnant urban Pakistani women and their newborns. This public health problem needs urgent attention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sunlight*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D