Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency among Pregnant Women in Sulaimaneyah City-Iraq


  • Hasan Qader Sofihussein Department of Pharmacy, Sulaimani Polytechnic University, Sulaimani Technical Institutes, Iraq



Vitamin D, Pregnant Women, Hypovitaminosis D, Sulaimaniyah


Hypovitaminosis D during pregnancy has a negative impact on the mother and infant’s health status. The main source of Vitamin D is sunshine and ultraviolet B for most humans and food sources are often inadequate. The present work has been carried out to demonstrate the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women in the Sulaimaneyah City/Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Serum samples were collected from 261 pregnant women who attended the Teaching Maternity Hospital and met inclusion criteria and were examined for 25-hydroxyvitamin D using the Roche Elecsys Vitamin D3 assay. Different information included, including sociodemography, body mass index, and obstetric history, was collected using a specific questionnaire form. The study showed a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D (71.3%) among pregnant women. High socioeconomic classes, blood group A-, and advanced gestational age have been significantly associated with higher Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in pregnant women in Sulaimani city. Because of the many risk factors of Vitamin D deficiency and a series of health consequences, the government needs to take a step to address the problem, including raising awareness among the community about the burden of the situation and how to increase obtaining optimum Vitamin D from different sources.


B.W. Hollis. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels indicative of vitamin D sufficiency: Implications for establishing a new effective dietary intake recommendation for Vitamin D. Journal of Nutrition, vol. 135, pp. 317-322, 2005.

B. W. Hollis and C. L. Wagner. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy: Improvements in birth outcomes and complications through direct genomic alteration. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, vol. 453, pp. 113-130, 2017.

R. Bouillon and T. Suda. Vitamin D: Calcium and bone homeostasis during evolution. Bonekey Reports, vol. 3, p. 480, 2014.

H. Wolden-Kirk, C. Gysemans, A. Verstuyf, M. Chantal. Extraskeletal effects of Vitamin D. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America, vol. 41, no. (3), pp. 571-594, 2012.

L. S. Weinert and S. P. Silveiro. Maternal-fetal impact of Vitamin D deficiency: A critical review. Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 94-101, 2014.

N. Principi, S. Bianchini, E. Baggi and S. Esposito. Implications of maternal Vitamin D deficiency for the fetus, the neonate and the young infant. European Journal of Nutrition, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 859-867, 2013.

E. E. Delvin, B. L. Salle, F. H. Glorieux, P. Adeleine and L. S. David. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy: Effect on neonatal calcium homeostasis. The Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 109, pp. 328-334, 1986.

N. A. Al-Faris. High prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency among pregnant Saudi women. Nutrients, vol. 8, no. 2, 6-15, 2016.

H. J. W. Farrant, G. V. Krishnaveni, J. C. Hill, B. J. Boucher, D. J. Fisher, K. Noonan and C. Osmond. Vitamin D insufficiency is common in Indian mothers but is not associated with gestational diabetes or variation in newborn size. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 63, no. 5, pp. 646-652, 2009.

A. R. Webb and O. Engelsen. Calculated ultraviolet exposure levels for a healthy Vitamin D status. Photochemistry and Photobiology, vol. 82, pp. 1697-1703, 2006.

C. Yun, J. Chen, Y. He, D. Mao, R. Wang, Y. Zhang and X. Yang. Vitamin D deficiency prevalence and risk factors among pregnant Chinese women. Public Health Nutrition, vol. 20, no. 10, pp. 1746-1754, 2017.

A. Dawodu and H. Akinbi. Vitamin D nutrition in pregnancy: Current opinion. International Journal of Womens Health, vol. 5, pp. 333- 343, 2013.

C. Palacios, L. M. De-Regil, L. K. Lombardo and J. P. Peña-Rosas. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy: An updated meta-analysis on maternal outcomes. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vol. 164, pp. 148-155, 2016.

M. F. Holick and T. C. Chen. Vitamin D deficiency: A worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 87, no. 4, pp. 1080-1086, 2008.

M. Al-Zoughool, A. AlShehri, A. Alqarni, A. Alarfaj and W. Tamimi. Vitamin D status of patients visiting health care centers in the coastal and Inland Cities of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Public Health and Development Series, vol. 1, pp. 14-21, 2015.

M. Tuffaha, C. El Bcheraoui, F. Daoud, H. A. Al Hussaini, F. Alamri, M. Al Saeedi, M. Basulaiman, Z. A. Memish, M. A. AlMazroa, A. A. Al Rabeeah and A. H. Mokdad. Deficiencies under plenty of suns: Vitamin D status among adults in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013. North American Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 7, pp. 467-475, 2015.

H. Alfawaz, H. Tamim, S. Alharbi, S. Aljaser and W. Tamimi. Vitamin D status among patients visiting a tertiary care centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: A retrospective review of 3475 cases. BMC Public Health, vol. 14, p. 159, 2014.

A. H. Al-Elq, M. Sadat-Ali, H. A. Al-Turki, F. A. Al-Mulheim and A. K. Al-Ali. Is there a relationship between body mass index and serum Vitamin D levels? Saudi Medical Journal, vol. 30, pp. 1542-1546, 2009.

S. Konradsen, H. Ag, F. Lindberg, S. Hexeberg and R. Jorde. Serum 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D is inversely associated with body mass index. European Journal of Nutrition, vol. 47, pp. 87-91, 2008.

M. F. Holick, T. C. Chen, Z. Lu and E. Sauter. Vitamin D and skin physiology: A D-lightful story. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 22, pp. V28-33, 2007.

M. F. Holick. Sunlight and Vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 80, pp. 1678S-1688S, 2004.