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Insufficient Vitamin D Linked to Miscarriage Among Women with Prior Pregnancy Loss

News Release

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

NIH study suggests the importance of preconception vitamin D in maintaining pregnancy.

Among women planning to conceive after a pregnancy loss, those who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to become pregnant and have a live birth, compared to women with insufficient levels of the vitamin, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. This study appears in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

“Our findings suggest that vitamin D may play a protective role in pregnancy,” said the study’s principal investigator Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD).

The authors note that a few studies have shown that women who have higher levels of vitamin D before undergoing in vitro fertilization have higher pregnancy rates than those with lower levels. However, little research has been done on pregnancy rates & pregnancy loss in women attempting to conceive without assisted reproductive technologies.

The researchers analyzed data collected as part of the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation & Reproduction (EAGeR) trial, which sought to determine if daily low-dose aspirin (81 milligrams) could prevent miscarriage in women with a history of pregnancy loss. Blood levels of vitamin D were tested for roughly 1,200 women before pregnancy & again at the eighth week of pregnancy. Researchers defined a vitamin D level of below 30 nanograms per milliliter as insufficient.

Women who had sufficient preconception vitamin D concentrations were 10 percent more likely to become pregnant & 15 percent more likely to have a live birth, compared to those with insufficient concentrations of the vitamin. Among women who became pregnant, each 10 nanogram per milliliter increase in preconception vitamin D was associated with a 12-percent lower risk of pregnancy loss. Vitamin D levels in the eighth week of pregnancy were not linked to pregnancy loss.

The authors note that the study does not prove cause & effect. Additional studies are needed to determine whether providing vitamin D to women at risk for pregnancy loss could increase their chances for pregnancy & live birth.

About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD): NICHD conducts & supports research in the United States and throughout the world on fetal, infant & child development; maternal, child & family health; reproductive biology & population issues; & medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit https://www.nichd.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes & Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting & supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, & is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common & rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Reference

Mumford, SL, et al. Association of preconception serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with livebirth and pregnancy loss: a prospective cohort study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587

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Source: nih.gov

Updated: May 31, 2018 — 7:45 pm

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