Ufaq Fatima

68% pregnant women in Kashmir face Vitamin D deficiency

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Srinagar, Dec 08: A latest study conducted in Kashmir has found 68 percent pregnant women in the Valley face Vitamin D deficiency.

The study — ‘Assessment of Vitamin D Status in Pregnant Women: A Prospective Observational Study from Kashmir Valley’ conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Immunology of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, says Vitamin D deficiency is overly prevalent in normal pregnant women in Kashmir.

Taking a cut-off value of 25 (OH) D of less than 20 ng/ml as Vitamin D deficiency, overall 68.5 percent of pregnant women were found to be Vitamin D deficient.

As per the findings, only 18 percent pregnant women were having a Vitamin D sufficient status (serum 25[OH]D of 30ng/ml or more).

According to experts, Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has adverse health effects for both mother and the baby growing in her womb — like fetal hypovitaminosis D, neonatal rickets and tetany, infantile rickets.

Claiming to be the first-ever study  to report Vitamin D status data for Kashmiri pregnant women, the study included women with different occupations like housewives, teachers, professionals, and other working women. Also, women from both rural and urban areas were included in the study.

The study is based on the 193 consenting pregnant women (aged 18-40 ) who were attending the antenatal clinic of the Gynaecology & Obstetrics Department of SKIMS over the study period of 18 months.

The report also highlights that there is a dearth of information about Vitamin D status during pregnancy in India in general and in Kashmiri female population in particular.

The report further adds that in a majority of women Vitamin D insufficiency was observed in all seasons — even during the light season (March to November) during which one would expect Vitamin D status to be much improved upon winter values.

“Despite abundant sunlight, the majority of normal pregnant women of Kashmir valley are Vitamin D deficient. There are multiple reasons for the large prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency. It includes diet, changing seasons, very little exposure to sunlight and even the use of sunscreens,” said a doctor.

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