Evidence of an Association Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Preterm Birth and Preeclampsia: A Critical Review

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2019 Sep;64(5):613-629. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.13014. Epub 2019 Aug 14.


Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes such as increased risk for preterm birth and preeclampsia. This state of the science review analyzed recently published meta-analyses and relevant studies that have evaluated the association between vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia or preterm birth. The results suggest that a positive association between vitamin D deficiency and preterm birth exists. However, the findings of the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia were inconclusive, possibly because of the need for supplementation to occur prior to placentation. This may be because of a lack of studies with ethnic minority populations, who are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency, and inadequate supplementation doses used for treatment of vitamin D deficiency. Health care providers should screen pregnant women at risk for vitamin D deficiency and supplement women accordingly based on their vitamin D status. Lastly, well-designed and standardized clinical trials need to include large cohorts of minority pregnant women to establish the impact of vitamin D supplementation on improving preterm birth and preeclampsia risk in pregnancy.

Keywords: 25(OH)D; preeclampsia; preterm birth; vitamin D; vitamin D deficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis


  • Vitamin D