A new study finds maintaining strong blood levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy may aid in reducing the risk of delivering a preterm baby by 60%.
Data from over 1000 babies and mothers was analyzed. Vitamins levels were tested at the mother’s first prenatal visit. If Vitamin D levels were below 40 ng/ml a supplement was provided and the mother was retested at between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy and again upon the delivery of the baby. Overall 90% of the women participating in the study initially had Vitamin D levels below 40 ng/ml, with 97% of black women participants having beginning Vitamin D levels lower than 40 ng/ml. Participants who had Vitamin D levels over the 40 ng/ml at the first follow up test had a 6% preterm delivery rate, which is a full 60% lower rate than the preterm delivery rate found in the normal population. The non-white participants had an 18% preterm delivery rate at the beginning of the study and a 78% lower rate of preterm births if they increased their Vitamin D above the 40 ng/ml level by the 2nd test. Preterm birth rates in non-white women were reduced to 4% if they had 2 follow up tests to assess their Vitamin D levels.
The finding of this study confirms previous research which showed a 59% reduction in the risks of pre-term deliveries in women with Vitamin D blood levels of at least 40 ng/ml when compared to women with levels of less than 20 ng/ml. Researchers believe that because Vitamin D status is modifiable the results of this analysis are important in insuring Vitamin D testing and supplementation in pregnant women is not overlooked.
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