Does Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency Increase the Risk of Preterm Birth: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Lu-Lu Qin,  Fang-Guo Lu,  Sheng-Hui Yang,  Hui-Lan Xu and  Bang-An Luo

Abstract: There are disagreements among researchers about the association between vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and preterm birth (PTB). Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of observational studies to evaluate this association. We performed a systematic literature search of PubMed, MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library through August 2015 with the following keywords: “vitamin D” or “cholecalciferol” or “25-hydroxyvitamin D” or “25(OH)D” in combination with “premature birth” or “preterm birth” or “PTB” or “preterm delivery” or “PTD” or “prematurity”. Our meta-analysis of 10 studies included 10,098 participants and found that pregnant women with vitamin D deficiency (maternal serum 25 (OH) D levels < 20 ng/mL) experienced a significantly increased risk of PTB (odds ratio (OR) = 1.29, 95% confidence intervals(CI): 1.16, 1.45) with low heterogeneity (I2 = 25%, p = 0.21). Sensitivity analysis showed that exclusion of any single study did not materially alter the overall combined effect. In the subgroup analyses, we found that heterogeneity was obvious in prospective cohort studies (I2 = 60%, p = 0.06). In conclusion, pregnant women with vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy have an increasing risk of PTB.

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