Pre-eclampsiaVitamin D levels

A nested case control study found the following: 

Adjusted serum 25(OH)D concentrations in early pregnancy were lower in women who subsequently developed preeclampsia compared with controls [geometric mean, 45.4 nmol/liter, and 95% confidence interval (CI), 38.6-53.4 nmol/liter, vs. 53.1 and 47.1-59.9 nmol/liter; P < 0.01]. There was a monotonic dose-response relation between serum 25(OH)D concentrations at less than 22 wk and risk of preeclampsia. After confounder adjustment, a 50-nmol/liter decline in 25(OH)D concentration doubled the risk of preeclampsia (adjusted odds ratio, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.1-5.4). Newborns of preeclamptic mothers were twice as likely as control newborns to have 25(OH)D less than 37.5 nmol/liter (adjusted odds ratio, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-4.1)1.

Bruce Hollis and Carol Wagner in Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina recommend that pregnant and nursing women take 6000 IU/day of vitamin D3 during pregnancy and lactation. They completed a randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and lactation in late 2009 and will be publishing their findings in early 2011.

In a study in South Carolina, subjects with early-onset severe preeclampsia  (n = 50) were noted to have decreased total 25(OH)D levels relative to healthy control subjects (n = 100; P < 0.001). This difference in total 25(OH)D remained significant after control for potential confounders2.

In a study at a hospital in the eastern United States involving pregnant women who gave blood that could be used for serum 25(OH)D analysis:

Midgestation maternal 25(OH)D concentration was lower in women who subsequently developed severe preeclampsia compared with controls [median (interquartile range), 75 (47-107) nmol/liter vs. 98 (68-113) nmol/liter; P = 0.01]. Midgestation maternal 25(OH)D of less than 50 nmol/liter was associated with an almost 4-fold odds of severe preeclampsia (unadjusted odds ratio, 3.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.52-8.65) compared with midgestation levels of at least 75 nmol/liter. Adjustment for known confounders strengthened the observed association (adjusted odds ratio, 5.41; 95% confidence interval, 2.02-14.52)3.

Page last edited: 03 May 2011


  1. Bodnar, L. M. Catov, J. M. Simhan, H. N. Holick, M. F. Powers, R. W. Roberts, J. M. Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Sep; 92 (9): 3517-22.
  2. Robinson, C. J. Alanis, M. C. Wagner, C. L. Hollis, B. W. Johnson, D. D. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in early-onset severe preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Oct; 203 (4): 366 e1-6.
  3. Baker, A. M. Haeri, S. Camargo, C. A., Jr. Espinola, J. A. Stuebe, A. M. A Nested Case-Control Study of Midgestation Vitamin D Deficiency and Risk of Severe Preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug 18;