British Journal of Nutrition

Vitaminn D in asian mothers

Vitamin D deficiency: a concern in pregnant Asian women

Mazin Alfahama1*, Stuart Woodheada2, Gunilla Paska1 and David Daviesa1

a1 Department of Child Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XW

a2 Department of Child Health Medical Biochemistry, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XW


Vitamin D status of Asian mothers in Cardiff was investigated during early pregnancy and at the time of the birth of their babies, using serum parathyroid hormone (PTH). Median values in Asian (n 32) and Caucasian (n 63) mothers in early pregnancy were 1·56 and 0·81 pmol/1 respectively. PTH levels from a separate sample of nineteen Asian and twenty-five Caucasian mothers at the time of birth were 3·0 and 2·20 pmol/1 respectively. Altogether twelve Asian and two Caucasian women had elevated PTH. All Asian women who had high PTH values also had a very low serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol level (25OHD). All samples were taken from women with no significant medical history and normal obstetric history. These findings suggest that subclinical vitamin D deficiency is still a cause for concern in Asian women. More active measures need to be taken to implement current recommendations to improve their vitamin D intake in pregnancy.

(Received May 31 1994)

(Revised September 26 1994)

(Accepted October 31 1994)


* Department of Child Health, Llandough Hospital NHS Trust, Penarth, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF64 2XX.