Relationships between total, free and bioavailable vitamin d and vitamin d binding protein in early pregnancy with neonatal outcomes: A retrospective cohort study

Melinda Fernando, Thisara G. Coster, Stacey J. Ellery, Deborah de Guingand, Siew Lim, Cheryce L. Harrison, Helena J. Teede, Negar Naderpoor, Aya Mousa

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Maternal vitamin D deficiency has been associated with adverse neonatal outcomes, however, existing results are inconsistent. Current data focus on total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) as the common measure of vitamin D status, while additional measures including vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) and free and bioavailable metabolites have not been explored in relation to neonatal outcomes. We examined whether VDBP and total, free, and bioavailable vitamin D metabolites in early pregnancy are associated with subsequent neonatal outcomes. In this retrospective analysis of 304 women in early pregnancy (<20 weeks gestation), demographic and anthropometric data were collected and total 25(OH)D (chemiluminescent assay), VDBP (polyclonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)) and albumin (automated colorimetry) were measured in bio-banked samples. Free and bioavailable 25(OH)D were calculated using validated formulae. Neonatal outcomes were derived from a medical record database. Higher maternal total and free 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with higher neonatal birthweight (β = 5.05, p = 0.002 and β = 18.06, p = 0.02, respectively), including after adjustment for maternal covariates including age, body mass index (BMI) and ethnicity (all p ≤ 0.04). Higher total 25(OH)D and VDBP concentrations were associated with a lower likelihood of neonatal jaundice (odds ratio [OR] [95%CI] = 0.997 [0.994, 1.000], p = 0.04 and 0.98 [0.96, 0.99], p = 0.03, respectively), but these were attenuated after adjustment for the above maternal covariates (both p = 0.09). Our findings suggest a novel association between free 25(OH)D and neonatal birthweight. Total 25(OH)D concentrations were also associated with birthweight, and both total 25(OH)D and VDBP were associated with jaundice, but the latter were not significant after adjustment. These results suggest a potential link between these metabolites and neonatal outcomes; however, further large-scale prospective studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2495
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020


  • Bioavailable vitamin D
  • Birth weight
  • Free vitamin D
  • Jaundice
  • Neonatal outcomes
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin D binding protein

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