“Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Burka-clad Pregnant Women in a 450-Bedded Maternity Hospital of Delhi”
Thought provoking indeed: a Springer The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India 2005 abstract on how low vitamin D and pregnancy outcomes in ‘Burka-clad Pregnant Women’ is associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.
Those wearing clothing that substantially covers them means they get little sun exposure, and research suggests need to be particularly aware of the importance of vitamin D, and potential need for supplementation.
Use of skin products including on hands that would block UVB, combined with modern indoor lifestyles will exacerbate the risk of low vitamin D levels.
Very clearly vitamin D insufficiencies are not the only determining factor in pre-eclampsia, or LBW, but the findings are nonetheless thought provoking, and rather depressing given Vitamin D is cheap and easy to test for and administer.
Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Burka-clad Pregnant Women in a 450-Bedded Maternity Hospital of Delhi (link)
To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in burka-clad pregnant women and to study feto-maternal outcome in these women.
200 pregnant burka-clad women of 18–40-year age group irrespective of the period of gestation were recruited from the ANC OPD/ward of Kasturba hospital, and their vitamin D levels were estimated. Patients were categorized into vitamin D deficient, vitamin D inadequate, and vitamin D adequate according to The Endocrine Society Guidelines. The association of vitamin D deficiency with dietary/environmental factors was taken note of. Associations with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), low birth weight (LBW), prematurity, APGAR score, and NICU admission were also studied.
78 patients (39.0 %) were vitamin D inadequate; 75 patients (37.5 %) were vitamin D deficient; and 47(23.5 %) were vitamin D adequate. Mean value of vitamin D level was 23.25 ng/ml ± 18.49 (SD). Fifteen patients (7.5 %) developed preeclampsia, and all 15 were vitamin D deficient; 13 (6.5 %) developed GDM; and only 5 (2.5 %) of them were vitamin D deficient. 19 patients (9.5 %) delivered LBW babies; mothers of 15 (7.5 %) of them were vitamin D deficient. 12 patients (6.0 %) delivered premature babies, and mothers of 4 (2 %) were vitamin D deficient; 12 babies had APGAR score <7 at 5 min; mothers of 4 (2.0 %) were vitamin D deficient. Babies of 12 patients (6 %) were admitted in NICU, and of these 12 babies, mothers of 5 (2.5 %) were vitamin D deficient.
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was high among burka-clad pregnant women, and it is associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Routine screening of vitamin D levels is recommended in burka-clad women to improve the feto-maternal outcome.”