Maternal obesity and vitamin D sufficiency are associated with cord blood vitamin D insufficiency

Jami L. Josefson*, Joseph Feinglass, Alfred W. Rademaker, Boyd E. Metzger, Dinah M. Zeiss, Heather E. Price, Craig B. Langman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Context: An inverse relationship between total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) and increased adiposity has been established in children, adolescents, and adults. However, the relationship between neonatal adiposity and vitamin D status has not been reported. Both maternal obesity and vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy are common and are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between vitamin D levels in mothers and newborns, as influenced by maternal obesity, and evaluate these associations with neonatal adiposity. Design, Setting, and Patients: Sixty-one maternal-neonatal pairs participated in this cross-sectional study at an academic medical center. Mothers had a prepregnancy body mass index that was normal or obese. Outcome Measures: Maternal and cord blood sera were assayed for 25-OH D, and neonatal body composition was measured by air displacement plethysmography. Results: Mothers had similar and sufficient levels of 25-OH D when measured at 36-38 wk gestation, irrespective of body mass index category (normal weight, 46.05, vs. obese, 49.84 ng/ml; P = not significant). However, cord blood 25-OH D was higher in neonates of normal-weight mothers comparedto neonates of obese mothers (27.45 vs. 20.81 ng/ml; P = 0.02). The variance in cord blood 25-OH D was explained by four factors: maternal 25-OH D level, the presence of maternal obesity, maternal age, and neonatal adiposity (r2 = 0.66). Conclusion: Obese women transfer less 25-OH D to offspring than normal-weight women, despite similar serum levels. Cord blood 25-OH D levels directly correlate to neonatal percentage body fat. These novel findings underscore the evolving relationships between maternal obesity, vitamin D nutritional status, and adiposity in the neonatal period that may influence subsequent childhood and adulthood vitamin D-dependent processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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