Background: Both pregnancy and high vitamin D concentration seem to generate a protective environment against multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses. Longitudinal case-control analysis of vitamin D concentrations during pregnancy and lactation of MS mothers is lacking.
Aims of the study: To examine serum 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 levels of MS patients during and after pregnancy and compare these to the levels measured in healthy controls.
Methods: Fifteen relapsing-remitting MS mothers underwent repeated testing for 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 at 10-12, 26-28 and 35-37 gestational weeks and 1, 3 and 6 months post-partum. An identical series of samples was collected from six control mothers.
Results: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/l) during pregnancy was high (73%) among MS patients. Vitamin D levels were significantly higher during pregnancy when compared to early post-partum values among MS patients. At the end of the follow-up period, the vitamin D levels returned to levels observed in early pregnancy. In healthy controls, the alterations during and after pregnancy were similar in nature, but the vitamin D concentrations were higher at all time points when compared to MS patients (P = 0.037).
Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency during the pregnancy and lactation seems to be common in mothers with MS and needs to be treated adequately.
Keywords: lactation; multiple sclerosis; post-partum; pregnancy; vitamin D.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.