Associations of maternal vitamin D, PTH and calcium with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and associated adverse perinatal outcomes: Findings from the Born in Bradford cohort study

Publication authors

Gillian Santorelli, Donald Whitelaw, Diane Farrar, Jane West, Debbie A Lawlor


Vitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) regulate mineral metabolism and are required to maintain calcium levels. Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly during pregnancy, and has been associated with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. We sought to determine whether maternal 25(OH)D, PTH and calcium concentrations at 26 weeks gestation are associated with adverse outcomes of pregnancy and establish whether these differ by ethnicity. This study included 476 White British and 534 Pakistani origin mother-offspring pairs from the Born in Bradford cohort study. We used multinomial or logistic regression to explore the association between vitamin D, PTH and calcium with gestational hypertension (GH), pre-eclampsia (PE), caesarean section (CS), preterm birth (PTB) and small for gestational age (SGA). Pakistani women had lower 25(OH)D (median 13.0 vs 36.0 nmol/L), higher PTH (median 7.7 vs 3.3 pmol/L) and similar calcium concentrations compared to White British women. In Pakistani women, higher concentrations of 25(OH)D were associated with a 60% increased odds of GH, and a 37% reduced odds of SGA; PTH was associated with a 45% reduction in the odds of GH. In White British women, each 1 SD increase in calcium concentration was associated with a 34% increase in developing GH but a 33% reduction in the odds of PTB. Associations with PE and CS were consistent with the null. In conclusion, there are ethnic differences in the associations of 25(OH)D, PTH and calcium with important perinatal outcomes. Future research would benefit from examining the associations of 25(OH)D, PTH and calcium together with a range of perinatal outcomes in order to assess the risk-benefit action of each.