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To evaluate vitamin D deficiency prevalence and risk factors among pregnant Chinese women.
A descriptive cross-sectional analysis.
China National Nutrition and Health Survey (CNNHS) 2010–2013.
A total of 1985 healthy pregnant women participated. Possible predictors of vitamin D deficiency were evaluated via multiple logistic regression analyses.
The median serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 15·5 (interquartile range 11·9–20·0, range 3·0–51·5) ng/ml, with 74·9 (95 % CI 73·0, 76·7) % of participants being vitamin D deficient (25-hydroxyvitamin D <20 ng/ml). According to the multivariate logistic regression analyses, vitamin D deficiency was positively correlated with Hui ethnicity (P=0·016), lack of vitamin D supplement use (P=0·021) and low ambient UVB level (P<0·001). In the autumn months, vitamin D deficiency was related to Hui ethnicity (P=0·012) and low ambient UVB level (P<0·001). In the winter months, vitamin D deficiency was correlated with younger age (P=0·050), later gestational age (P=0·035), higher pre-pregnancy BMI (P=0·019), low ambient UVB level (P<0·001) and lack of vitamin D supplement use (P=0·007).
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among pregnant Chinese women. Residing in areas with low ambient UVB levels increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially for women experiencing advanced stages of gestation, for younger pregnant women and for women of Hui ethnicity; therefore, vitamin D supplementation and sensible sun exposure should be encouraged, especially in the winter months. Further studies must determine optimal vitamin D intake and sun exposure levels for maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels in pregnant Chinese women.
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