Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in a Large Newborn Cohort from Northern United States and Effect of Intrauterine Drug Exposure

Nutrients. 2020 Jul 14;12(7):2085. doi: 10.3390/nu12072085.


Vitamin D is not only a vital element in bone health but is also a prohormone. Data regarding distribution of vitamin D status among preterm and term neonates in the United States are limited. There are no data on the effect of intrauterine drug exposure on vitamin D status. Our objective was to determine the distribution of vitamin D levels among preterm and term neonates and the effect of intrauterine illicit drug exposure. We did a retrospective chart review of neonates admitted from 2009 to 2016 to our neonatal intensive care unit with serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25[OH]D) levels measured during the hospital stay. Of 1517 neonates, the median 25[OH]D level was 19 ng/mL with 31% deficient and 49% insufficient, even though 75% of mothers took prenatal vitamins. In pregnant women, 38% were vitamin-D-deficient and 44% were vitamin-D-insufficient. Four hundred seventy-one neonates had intrauterine drug exposure, with a median 25[OH]D level of 22.9 ng/mL versus 17.8 ng/mL in nonexposed neonates (p = 0.001). Despite maternal prenatal vitamin intake, neonates are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Maternal illicit drug use was not related to lower 25[OH]D levels in neonates.

Keywords: intrauterine drug exposure; maternal vitamin D deficiency; newborn; preterm; vitamin D deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology*


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D