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Vitamin D nutritional status in preterm infants and response to supplementation

  • Roberta A. McCarthy (a1), Malachi J. McKenna (a2) (a3), Oyinkansola Oyefeso (a1), Ogenna Uduma (a1), Barbara F. Murray (a3), Jennifer J. Brady (a3), Mark T. Kilbane (a3), John F. Murphy (a1), Anne Twomey (a1), Colm P. O' Donnell (a1), Nuala P. Murphy (a4) and Eleanor J. Molloy (a1) (a4) (a5) (a6)...
Abstract

Little is known about vitamin D status in preterm infants and their response to supplementation. To investigate this, we assessed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels using RIA in a consecutive sample of stable preterm very low birth weight (VLBW) infants (born ≤ 32 weeks gestation or birth weight ≤ 1·5 kg), and we explored associated factors. Serum 25OHD level was first assessed once infants were tolerating feeds (n 274). If this first 25OHD level was below 50 nmol/l (20 ng/ml), which is the level associated with covering requirements in terms of skeletal health in the majority, then we recommended prolonged augmented vitamin D intake ( ≥ 10 μg (400 IU) daily) from a combination of fortified feeds and vitamin supplements and follow-up re-assessment at approximately 6 weeks corrected age (n 148). The first assessment, conducted at a median for chronological age of 18 (interquartile range (IQR) 11–28) d, found that 78 % had serum 25OHD levels below 50 nmol/l. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that the determinants of serum 25OHD levels were duration of vitamin D supplementation and gestational age at birth (r2 0·215; P< 0·001). At follow-up, after a median of 104 (IQR 78–127) d, 87 % achieved levels ≥ 50 nmol/l and 8 % had levels >125 nmol/l, a level associated with potential risk of harm. We conclude that low 25OHD levels are an issue for preterm VLBW infants, warranting early nutritional intervention. In infants with serum 25OHD levels < 50 nmol/l, a vitamin D intake of ≥ 10 μg (400 IU) daily achieves target levels in the majority; however, further work is needed to determine the exact dose to safely meet target levels without overcorrection.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: R. A. McCarthy, fax +353 1 6614623, email rmccarthy@nmh.ie
References
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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