OBJECTIVE:: Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) in pregnant women and their children is an important health problem with severe consequences for the health of both. Thus, the objectives of this review were to reassess the magnitude and consequences of VDD during pregnancy, lactation and infancy, associated risk factors, prevention methods, and to explore epigenetic mechanisms in early fetal life capable of explaining many of the non-skeletal benefits of vitamin D (ViD).
DATA SOURCE:: Original and review articles, and consensus documents with elevated level of evidence for VDD-related clinical decisions on the health of pregnant women and their children, as well as articles on the influence of ViD on epigenetic mechanisms of fetal programming of chronic diseases in adulthood were selected among articles published on PubMed over the last 20 years, using the search term VitD status, in combination with Pregnancy, Offspring health, Child outcomes, and Programming.
DATA SYNTHESIS:: The following items were analyzed: ViD physiology and metabolism, risk factors for VDD and implications in pregnancy, lactation and infancy, concentration cutoff to define VDD, the variability of methods for VDD detection, recommendations on ViD replacement in pregnant women, the newborn and the child, and the epigenetic influence of ViD.
CONCLUSIONS:: VDD is a common condition among high-risk pregnant women and their children. The routine monitoring of serum 25(OH)D3 levels in antenatal period is mandatory. Early preventive measures should be taken at the slightest suspicion of VDD in pregnant women, to reduce morbidity during pregnancy and lactation, as well as its subsequent impact on the fetus, the newborn and the child.
Keywords: Children; Criança; Fetal programming; Feto; Fetus; Gestação; Lactation; Lactação; Newborn; Pregnancy; Programação fetal; Recém‐nascido; Vitamin D; Vitamina D.
Copyright © 2014 Associação de Pediatria de São Paulo. Publicado por Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.