The relationship between low maternal serum vitamin D levels and glycemic control in gestational diabetes assessed by HbA1c levels: an observational cross-sectional study

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2014 Oct 13;14:362. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-362.


Background: A great association between vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes mellitus has been suggested in literature. During pregnancy, this deficiency is even more critical. It appears that vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy may be associated with maternal hazards. The aim of this study was to assess the relation between the levels of 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol (vitamin D), and the glycemic control in pregnant women.

Methods: An observational cross-section study including 160 pregnant women between 20-40 years in age, in their third trimester, divided into two equal groups. First group consisted of 80 women with established diagnosis of gestational diabetes and the second group with proved normal blood glucose levels. We assessed vitamin D in serum, fasting blood glucose, serum insulin and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels and we depicted the insulin sensitivity using the Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (Quicki). The results were collected and statistically correlated.

Results: The mean vitamin D levels were 46.61 ± 6.087 and 47.25 ± 10.181in controls and women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) respectively. The fasting insulin levels were significantly higher in the group with GDM with a mean of 18.51 ± 6.44 compared to 8.95 ± 2.52 in the control group.The correlation coefficient (r) between HbA1c levels and Vitamin D level was -0.492 with a P value <0.05. Similar associations were also found with the fasting blood sugar levels (r = -0.386) and with Quicki values (r = -0.250). Vitamin D levels correlated significantly with the fasting blood glucose, the fasting serum insulin and the HbA1c levels, the P value in all these correlations were <0.05. The P value with Quicki results was 0.064.

Conclusions: There is a statistically significant negative correlation between the glycemic control and vitamin D levels in serum in the whole study population. The effect of adequate vitamin D replacement on glycemic control was not studied in our work correlation. We suggest larger scale studies addressing this issue.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Calcifediol / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • Calcifediol