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Higher Vitamin D Dosage Safe & Effective For Pregnant Arab Women As Per Tawam Hospital Study
(14 July 2013)
Three-year study on Vitamin D supplementation in pregnant Arab women lays to rest doubts and controversy surrounding increased dosage


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Tawam Hospital in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine and part of the SEHA healthcare system, announced today the results of its joint study on Vitamin D supplementation among pregnant Arab women and endorsed its safety and effectiveness for both the mother and the child. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is a global health problem and the amount of supplementation to prevent its deficiency has hitherto been a topic of controversy.

Dr Gharid Bekdache, Specialist Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Tawam Hospital said: “It is well known that there is a prevalence of mild to serious Vitamin D deficiency in Arab populations in spite of the fact that the region receives more sunlight per year than other areas around the world. Our joint study lays to rest doubts about Vitamin D supplementation among pregnant women and its results have been published by The Endocrine Society Journal. The findings of our study could apply to other populations in which Vitamin D deficiency is endemic as well. I thank our partnering institutions for their help in designing and implementing the study.”

The three-year study, “Randomized Controlled Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation in Pregnancy in a Population with Endemic Vitamin D Deficiency,” was conducted by Cincinnati Hospital’s Dr. Dawodu Adekunle in collaboration with Dr. Hussain Saadi, Endocrinologist from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Dr. Gharid Bekdache, Feto- maternal Specialist at Tawam Hospital.

The objective of the study was to determine effectiveness and safety of administering Vitamin D3 in pre-natal dosages of 2000 and 4000 International Units per day (IU/day) and to compare them with current practice of prescribing 400 IU/d.

Supplementation was begun in a randomized controlled trial of 192 pregnant Arab women at 12 to 16 weeks of gestation at primary care and tertiary perinatal care centers. Dosage was continued through to delivery for the volunteering women. Serum vitamin D level was measured regularly during pregnancy and at delivery. The study outcomes found maternal and cord blood serum vitamin D to be at stable levels throughout pregnancy and the clinically ideal concentration of serum vitamin D at 32 Nano-gram/ millilitre or greater was observed at delivery, indicating effectiveness and safety of dosage. Vitamin D supplementation of 2000 IU/d and 4000 IU/d were seen as safe in pregnancy. The dosage of 4000 IU/d was most effective in optimizing serum vitamin D concentrations in mothers and their infants.

Tawam Hospital is part of the SEHA Health System and are owned and operated by SEHA, which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

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