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To better understand the effects of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy – particularly in pregnant women with high body mass index (BMI) – KKH researchers are closely examining the links between vitamin D levels, lipid profiles and pregnancy outcomes in women with high BMI after supplementation of vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy has been shown to protect skeletal health in both mother and baby, and reduce the risk of complications in pregnancies such as preterm birth, gestational diabetes and hypertension, as well as impaired health and development in children.
Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women with high BMI
“We see a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women globally and in Singapore,” says Professor Jerry Chan, Senior Consultant, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH. “Results published in 2015 from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) birth cohort study, which KKH is a part of, found that 41 per cent of 940 pregnant women at 26 to 28 weeks of their pregnancy had insufficient vitamin D. This was particularly evident in pregnant women with high BMI.”
“We are keenly interested in how vitamin D impacts the pregnancy journey for both mother and child, which can further inform care and intervention to bring about better health outcomes,” adds Dr Loy See Ling, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Reproductive Medicine, KKH, who is the study’s principal investigator.
To enhance maternal and child health outcomes, KKH is also collaborating with Temasek Foundation to provide vitamin D supplements to approximately 5,000 expectant mothers receiving antenatal care at KKH.