Vitamin D status in women with dichorionic twin pregnancies and their neonates: a pilot study in China

Xin Li, Jiaxiao Yu, Li Wen, Qingshu Li, Jianying Yan, Jing Tian, Chao Tong, Qi Tong, Hongbo Qi, Richard Saffery, Mark Kilby, Philip N. Baker

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Vitamin D deficiency is a global public health issue in women and children and is associated with adverse impacts on child growth, such as rickets. However, prior studies have mainly focused on measuring vitamin D levels in singleton pregnant women and their offspring, and very limited studies have revealed the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in twin pregnant women and their offspring. The aim of this study was to investigate vitamin D levels in twin-pregnant women and their neonates. We also explored the correlation of maternal vitamin D levels with neonatal outcomes and infant growth.

A prospective subcohort investigation was carried out among 72 dichorionic, diamniotic twin-pregnant mothers and their twin offspring from the Longitudinal Twin Study. Peripheral blood was collected from the mothers in the third trimester, and cord blood was collected from neonates at birth to identify 25[OH]D levels. Data on the characteristics of the mothers and neonates were collected. Infant growth data and food sensitivities were also collected.

The average maternal 25[OH]D level was 31.78 ng/mL, with 19.4% being deficient and 20.8% insufficient, while the average neonatal 25[OH]D level was 15.37 ng/mL, with 99.3% being deficiency or insufficient. A positive correlation was found between maternal and neonatal 25[OH]D levels (beta-value: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.37, 0.49). Interestingly, the higher the maternal 25[OH]D level was, the smaller the cotwin birthweight discordance (beta-value: -2.67, 95% CI: − 5.11, − 0.23). In addition, the infants of mothers with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to be allergic to foods at 6 months than those of mothers with vitamin D sufficiency.

Twin neonates were at high risk of vitamin D deficiency, although their mothers’ vitamin D deficiency partially improved. Higher maternal vitamin D levels were associated with smaller discordance of cotwin birthweight.

Trial registration
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR-OOC-16008203, 1st April 2016.
Original languageEnglish
Article number279
JournalBMC pregnancy and childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021


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