Meta-analysis of the effect of the maternal vitamin D level on the risk of spontaneous pregnancy loss

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2017 Sep;138(3):242-249. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.12209. Epub 2017 Jun 19.


Background: The association between vitamin D deficiency and early spontaneous pregnancy loss (SPL) is unclear.

Objectives: To assess the association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and SPL.

Search strategy: Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched for relevant papers published before February 20, 2016, using search terms including "vitamin D" and "pregnancy loss."

Selection criteria: Case-control and cohort studies investigating the relationship of maternal serum 25(OH)D and SPL were included.

Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently extracted original data from the selected papers. The DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model was used to perform the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was assessed by calculating I2 .

Main results: Five studies, including 10 630 pregnant women, met the inclusion criteria. There was no significant association between a low 25(OH)D level and an increased risk of SPL. In a subgroup analysis, an extremely low 25(OH)D level (<20 ng/mL) was significantly associated with an increased risk of SPL in the first trimester (relative risk 2.24, 95% confidence interval 1.15-4.37); the heterogeneity across studies was not significant (I2 =0.0%, P=0.355).

Conclusions: Severe Vitamin D deficiency could be detrimental to early embryonic development and increase the risk of early SPL.

Keywords: Cohort study; Meta-analysis; Pregnancy loss; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D