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Open AccessArticle

Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalence and Predictors in Early Pregnancy among Arab Women

Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Department of Medicine, Endocrinology Division, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 11461, Saudi Arabia
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 11461, Saudi Arabia
Department of Clinical Lab Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Prince Mutaib Chair for Biomarkers of Osteoporosis, Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 59406, Saudi Arabia
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, Riyadh 11564, Saudi Arabia
Department of Biosciences, School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
Department of Medicine, Endocrinology & Nutrition, Cardio Metabolic Institute, Somerset, NJ 08873, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 489;
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 15 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Requirements and Dietary Intakes of Women during Pregnancy)
Data regarding the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency during early pregnancy are limited. This study aims to fill this gap. A total of 578 Saudi women in their 1st trimester of pregnancy were recruited between January 2014 and December 2015 from three tertiary care antenatal clinics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Information collected includes socio-economic, anthropometric, and biochemical data, including serum vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, intake of calcium and vitamin D, physical activity, and sun exposure indices. Pregnant women with 25(OH)D levels <50 nmol/L were considered vitamin D deficient. The majority of participants (n = 468 (81%)) were vitamin D deficient. High levels of indoor activity, whole body clothing, multiparity, total cholesterol/HDL ratio(>3.5), low HDL-cholesterol, and living in West Riyadh were significant independent predictors for vitamin D deficiency, with odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval) of 25.4 (5.5–117.3), 17.8 (2.3–138.5), 4.0 (1.7–9.5), 3.3 (1.4–7.9), 2.8 (1.2–6.4), and 2.0 (1.1–3.5), respectively. Factors like increased physical activity, sun exposure at noon, sunrise or sunset, high educational status, and residence in North Riyadh were protective against vitamin D deficiency with ORs 0.2 (0.1–0.5); 0.2 (0.1–0.6); 0.3 (0.1–0.9); and 0.4 (0.2–0.8), respectively. All ORs were adjusted for age, BMI, sun exposure, parity, summer season, vitamin D intake, multivitamin intake, physical activity, education, employment, living in the north, and coverage with clothing. In conclusion, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among Saudi women during early pregnancy was high (81%). Timely detection and appropriate supplementation with adequate amounts of vitamin D should reduce the risks of vitamin D deficiency and its complications during pregnancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D deficiency; pregnancy; vitamin D; Saudi women vitamin D deficiency; pregnancy; vitamin D; Saudi women
MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Musharaf, S.; Fouda, M.A.; Turkestani, I.Z.; Al-Ajlan, A.; Sabico, S.; Alnaami, A.M.; Wani, K.; Hussain, S.D.; Alraqebah, B.; Al-Serehi, A.; Alshingetti, N.M.; Al-Daghri, N.; McTernan, P.G.; Wimalawansa, S.J.; Saravanan, P. Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalence and Predictors in Early Pregnancy among Arab Women. Nutrients 2018, 10, 489.

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