Vitamin D Insufficiency Is Prevalent among Pregnant African American Adolescents

Lisa Mc Guire Davis, Shih Chen Chang, Jeri Mancini, Maureen Schulman Nathanson, Frank R. Witter, Kimberly O. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Study Objective: Recent attention has focused on vitamin D insufficiency but few data exist on vitamin D status among pregnant minority youth. Design: A screening study was undertaken in adolescents having prenatal blood samples drawn for other routine tests obtained during the second trimester (18 ± 1.8 week gestation, n = 44) or third trimester of pregnancy (28.4 ± 2.1 week gestation, n = 36). Serum 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured and significant determinants of vitamin D insufficiency in this cohort were identified. Setting: Urban prenatal clinic. Participants: Eighty pregnant African American adolescents (≤ 18 y of age). Main Outcome Measure(s): Vitamin D status, STDs, hemoglobin, season, birth weight. Results: Serum 25(OH)D in this group averaged 21.6 ± 8 ng/mL (age 16.5 ± 1.1 y, n = 80), and did not significantly differ between the second (20.95 ± 8.2 ng/mL, n = 44) and third trimester cohorts (22.5 ± 7.9 ng/mL, n = 36). Vitamin D insufficiency (< 20 ng/mL) was evident in 46.25% and vitamin D deficiency (<15 ng/mL) was evident in 21.25% of those studied. Significant predictors of suboptimal vitamin D status included sampling during the winter months (P = 0.004), lower hemoglobin concentration (P = 0.019), and higher second trimester leptin levels (P = 0.018). Inverse associations between 25(OH)D and bacterial vaginosis were evident when controlled for season of sampling (P = 0.02, n = 80). Conclusions: Vitamin D insufficiency was prevalent among urban pregnant minority adolescents. Further studies are needed to address the impact of this finding on maternal and neonatal calcium homeostasis and bone health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Bone
  • Calcium
  • Diet
  • Minority
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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