Pregnancy related preeclampsia caused by lack of vitamin D.

vitdResearchers have found a new cause for preeclampsia, a life threatening condition during diagnosed by an increase in blood pressure and in the urine.

The study involved one of the largest population samples to date: 3000 mothers who did not develop preeclampsia and tracking 700 pregnant who developed preeclampsia, with a on the majority of cases, lack of .

“For decades, was known as a nutrient that was important only for bone health,” said lead author Lisa Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., associate professor in Pitt ’s Department of Epidemiology. “Over the past 10 to 15 years, scientists have learned that has diverse functions in the body beyond maintaining the skeleton, including actions that may be important for maintaining a healthy .”

The researchers found that sufficiency was associated with a 40 percent reduction in risk of severe preeclampsia. But there was no relationship between and mild preeclampsia. The overall risk of severe preeclampsia in the women sampled was 0.6 percent, regardless of status.

“Scientists believe that severe preeclampsia and mild preeclampsia have different root causes,” said senior A. Klebanoff, M.D., M.P.H., Center for Perinatal Research at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at The College of Medicine. “Severe preeclampsia poses much higher health risks to the mother and child, so linking it with a factor that we can easily treat, like , holds great potential.”
“If our results hold true in a modern sample of pregnant women, then further exploring the role of in reducing the risk of preeclampsia would be warranted,” said Dr. Bodnar. “Until then, women shouldn’t automatically take supplements during as a result of these findings.”


Lisa M. Bodnar, Hyagriv N. Simhan, Janet M. Catov, James M. Roberts, Robert W. Platt, Jill C. Diesel, Mark A. Klebanoff. Maternal Status and the Risk of Mild and Severe Preeclampsia. Epidemiology, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000039

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