THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Maternal vitamin D supplementation from mid-pregnancy until birth or until six months postpartum does not improve fetal or infant growth, according to a study published in the Aug. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Daniel E. Roth, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and colleagues randomized one group of Bangladeshi women to neither prenatal nor postpartum vitamin D; this was the placebo group. Three groups of women received only prenatal supplementation (17 to 24 weeks of gestation until birth with doses of 4,200 IU, 16,800 IU, or 28,000 IU). A fifth group received prenatal supplementation as well as 26 weeks of postpartum supplementation (both 28,000 IU).

The researchers found that among 1,164 infants assessed at 1 year of age, there were no significant differences across groups in the mean length-for-age z scores (P = 0.23 for a global test of differences across groups). Similarly, there were no significant differences in other anthropometric measures, birth outcomes, and morbidity across groups. Adverse events were similar between the groups, except for a higher rate of possible hypercalciuria among the women receiving the highest dose of supplementation.

“In a population with widespread prenatal vitamin D deficiency and fetal and infant growth restriction, maternal vitamin D supplementation from mid-pregnancy until birth or until six months postpartum did not improve fetal or infant growth,” the authors write.

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