Relationship between vitamin D knowledge and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels amongst pregnant women.

Journal Article


Pregnant women living at northerly latitudes are at risk of suboptimal vitamin D status. There is a paucity of studies correlating knowledge, attitudes and practices of vitamin D with serum levels amongst pregnant women. We aimed to determine the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin D status in pregnant women of various ethnicities attending two Dublin maternity hospitals and to assess levels of knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning vitamin D.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of 116 pregnant women of Irish, Asian, Sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) origin. Vitamin D status was determined by measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD). We examined knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning vitamin D using an interview-assisted questionnaire.


The median (interquartile range) 25OHD level was 25.9 (16.5-44.7) nmol L(-1). Using a cut-off point of <30 nmol L(-1) , the proportion at risk of deficiency was significantly higher among MENA (88%; P < 0.001) and Sub-Saharan African women (68%; P = 0.019) than Irish women (36%). Eighty-two women (71%) reported they had insufficient knowledge about vitamin D and its sources. Vitamin D containing supplement usage was the strongest predictor of 25OHD levels ≥30 nmol L(-1) (odds ratio = 18.03, 95% confidence interval = 5.7256.8, P < 0.001).


Suboptimal vitamin D status is common in this cohort of pregnant women, especially among those of Sub-Saharan African and MENA origin. Awareness of vitamin D dietary sources is poor among all subgroups. Recommending vitamin D containing supplements may be the best strategy at present for improving vitamin D status with a need for increased vitamin D education.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Toher, C; Lindsay, K; McKenna, M; Kilbane, M; Curran, S; Harrington, L; Uduma, O; McAuliffe, FM

Published Date

  • June 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 261 - 269

PubMed ID

  • 24033613

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24033613

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-277X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0952-3871

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jhn.12150


  • eng