Maternal Vitamin D Status and Risk of Preeclampsia in Abuja, Nigeria

Main Article Content

Kate Ifeoma Omonua
Olutunde Onafowokan
Nathaniel Adewole
Maxwell Nwegbu
Aliyu Yabaji Isah
Odiase Special Omonua


Aim: To determine the relationship between maternal serum 25(OH) D concentrations and development of preeclampsia.

Study Design: A cross sectional comparative study.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja, between March 2016 and February 2017.

Methodology: We included 55 women with preeclampsia and 55 healthy women. Data obtained included sociodemographic characteristics, clothing style and duration of exposure to sun light.  ELISA method was used for evaluation of serum vitamin D levels.

Results: The prevalence of VD deficiency in the population was 15%, while 16.8% and 73% of the participants had insufficient and normal levels respectively. The prevalence of VD deficiency in women with preeclampsia was 20.4% while that in healthy pregnant women was 9.4% (P=.19). The mean serum 25-OH-D level of women with pre-eclampsia was significantly lower than that of healthy women (34.5±14.9 vs. 43.5±15.1, P = .003). Preeclamptic women with vitamin D insufficiency delivered at a higher gestational age than those with vitamin D deficiency (37.67(2.77) weeks vs. 33.55(2.38) weeks respectively, P = .007). In the adjusted analysis of cases with vitamin D defficiency, the odds of developing preeclampsia was not statistically significant [odds ratio (OR) = 3.27, CI = 0.99-10.83, P =.05].  However, the odds of developing preeclampsia in women with Vitamin D insufficiency was statistically  significant (OR = 3.20, CI = 1.02–10.06,  = 0.046).

Conclusion: In conclusion, an association between vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia was not demonstrated in this study. The results however suggest that maternal vitamin D insufficiency in late pregnancy is an independent risk factor for preeclampsia.

Vitamin D, Vitamin D status, preeclampsia, Abuja, Nigeria

Article Details

How to Cite
Omonua, K., Onafowokan, O., Adewole, N., Nwegbu, M., Isah, A., & Omonua, O. (2019). Maternal Vitamin D Status and Risk of Preeclampsia in Abuja, Nigeria. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, 38(1), 1-10.
Original Research Article


World Health Organisation. WHO recommendations for prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; 2011.
Available: (Accessed 27/03/2015)

World Health Organisation. Make every mother and child count. In: The world health report, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; 2005.
Available: 2005_eng.
(Accessed- 2/04/2015)

Attahir A, Dikko AAU, Sufiyan MB, Salihu A, Rabiu AM. Association between maternal socio–economic status, polygamy and risk of pre–eclampsia in rural areas of Northern Nigeria. JFRH. 2010;4(1):47-52.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). The management of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. NICE Clinical Guideline No107. London: RCOG Press; 2010.

Abedi P, Mohaghegh P, Afshary P, Latifi M. The relationship of serum vitamin D with pre-eclampsia in the Iranian women. Matern Child Nutri. 2014;10:206–212.

Hamilton SA, McNeil R, Hollis BW, Davis DJ, Winkler J, Cook C, et al. Profound vitamin D deficiency in a diverse group of women during pregnancy living in a sun-rich environment at latitude 32°N. Int J Endocrinol. 2010; 2010:917428.

Robinson CJ, Wagner CL, Hollis BW, Baatz JE, Johnson DD. Maternal vitamin D and fetal growth in early-onset severe preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011; 204(6):556–4.

Parlak M, Kalay S, Kalay Z, Kirecci A, Guney O, Koklu E. Severe vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women and their newborns in Turkey. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014;30:1-4.

Yu CK, Ertl R, Skyfta E, Akolekar R, Nicolaides KH. Maternal serum vitamin D levels at 11-13 weeks of gestation in preeclampsia. Hum Hypertens 2013; 27:115-8.

Feleke Y, Abdulkadir J, Mshana R, Mekbib T, Brunvand L, Berg JP, et al. Low levels of serum calcidiol in an African population compared to a North European population. Eur J Endocrinol. 1999;141:358–360.

Okonofua F, Houlder S, Bell J, Dandona P. Vitamin D nutrition in pregnant Nigerian women at term and their newborn infants. J Clin Path. 1986;39:650–653.

Robinson CJ, Wagner CL, Hollis BW, Baatz JE, Johnson DD. Maternal vitamin D and fetal growth in early-onset severe preeclampsia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011; 204(6):556–4.

Bodnar LM, Catov JM, Simhan HN, Holick MF, Powers RW, Roberts JM. Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92:3517–3522.

Baker AM, Haeri S, Camargo CA Jr, Espinola JA, Stuebe AM. A nested case-control study of midgestation vitamin D deficiency and risk of severe preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010;95:5105-9.

Ringrose JS, PausJenssen AM, Wilson M, Blanco L, Ward H, Wilson IW. Vitamin D and hypertension in pregnancy. Clin Invest Med. 2011;34(3):E147-E154.

Powe CE, Seely EW, Rana S, Bhan I, Ecker J, Karumanchi SA, et al. First trimester vitamin D, vitamin D binding protein, and subsequent preeclampsia. Hypertension. 2010;56:758-63.

Schneuer FJ, Roberts CL, Guilbert C, Simpson JM, Algert CS, Khambalia AZ. Effects of maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in the first trimester on subsequent pregnancy outcomes in an Australian population. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99(2):287-295.

Shand AW, Nassar N, Von Dadelszen P, Innis SM, Green TJ. Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes in a group at high risk for pre-eclampsia. BJOG. 2010;117:1593–1598.

Wei SQ, Audibert F, Hidiroglou N, Sarafin K, Julien P, Wu Y, et al. Longitudinal vitamin D status in pregnancy and the risk of pre-eclampsia. BJOG. 2012;119:832-9.

Tabesh M, Salehi-Abargouei A, Esmaillzadeh A: Maternal vitamin D status and risk of pre-eclampsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol. 2013;98:3165-3173.

Vitamin D: Screening and supplementation during pregnancy. Committee opinion No. 495. American College of obstetricians and gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2011; 118:197–8.

Sachan A, Gupta R, Das V, Agarwal A, Awasthi PK, Bhatia V. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women and their newborns in northern India. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81(5):1060–1064.

Judkins A, Eagleton C. Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant New Zealand women. N Z Med J. 2006;119(1241): U2144.

Bassir M, Laborie S, Lapillonne A,Claris O, Chappuis MC, Salle BL. Vitamin D deficiency in Iranian mothers and their neonates: A pilot study. Acta Paediatr 2001;90577–579.

Van Der Meer IM, Karamali NS, Boeke AJP, Lips P, Middelkoop BJ, Verhoeven I et al. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant non-Western women in The Hague, Netherlands. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84:350–353.

Ginde AA, Sullivan AF, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA. Jr. Vitamin D insufficiency in pregnant and non-pregnant women of childbearing age in the United States. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;202(5):436–438.

Bener A, Al-Hamaq AO, Saleh NM. Association between vitamin D insufficiency and adverse pregnancy outcome: Global comparisons. Int J Womens Health. 2013;5:523–31.

Hyppönen E, Cavadino A, Williams D, Fraser A, Vereczkey A, Fraser WD, et al. Vitamin D and pre-eclampsia: Original data, systematic review and meta- analysis. Ann. Nutr. Metab. 2013;63:331–340.

Zhou J, Su L, Liu M, Liu Y, Cao X, Wang Z et al.. Associations between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and pregnancy outcomes: A prospective observational study in southern China. Eur J Clin Nutr 2014;68(8):925–30.

Buchanan AS, Ebeling MD, Mateus JF, Wagner CL. Maternal vitamin d deficiency and the risk of preeclampsia. AJOG. 2018;218(1):S488.

Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Catov JM, Roberts JM, Platt RW, Diesel JC, et al. Maternal vitamin D status and the risk of mild and severe preeclampsia. Epidemiology. 2014;25(2):207–14.

Goel P, Garg G, Kaur J, Mehra R, Tandon R, Huria A. Association of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy with preeclampsia and eclampsia. Int J Reprod Contracept Obstet Gynecol. 2016;5:3046-50.

Wetta LA, Biggio JR, Cliver S, Abramovici A, Barnes S, Tita AT. Is midtrimester vitamin D status associated with spontaneous preterm birth and preeclampsia? Am J Perinatol. 2014;31(6): 541–6.

Gidlof S, Silva AT, Gustafsson S, Lindqvist PG. Vitamin D and the risk of preeclampsia - A nested case-control study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015;94(8):904–8.

Pena HR, de Lima MC, Brandt KG, de Antunes MM, da Silva GA. Influence of preeclampsia and gestational obesity in maternal and newborn levels of vitamin D. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015;15:112.

Al-Shaikh GK, Ibrahim GH, Fayed AA, Al-Mandeel H. Impact of vitamin D deficiency on maternal and birth outcomes in the Saudi population: A cross-sectional study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016;16:119.

Purswani JM, Gala P, Dwarkanath P, Larkin HM, Kurpad A, Mehta S. The role of vitamin D in pre-eclampsia: A systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2017;17:231.

O’Callaghan KM, Kiely M. Systematic review of vitamin D and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Nutrients. 2018; 10:E294.

Luk J, Torrealday S, Neal Perry G, Pal L. Relevance of vitamin D in reproduction. Hum Reprod. 2012;27:3015–27.