Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk factors in women with excessive weight gain during pregnancy and in their offspring at age 5–6 years

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Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels [25(OH)D] may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In pregnant women excessive weight gain and 25(OH)D deficiency are common complications and both could have deleterious consequences on their children. We aimed to study the relationship between serum 25(OH)D and CVD risk factors in pregnant women and in their offspring at school age.


Fasting serum 25(OH)D and its bioavailable fraction were quantified in 310 healthy pregnant women [with adequate (n = 113), insufficient (n = 113) and excessive (n = 84) weight gain]. A follow-up at 5–6 years was performed in sixty-six children born of these mothers. Lipids, insulin, glucose, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were measured in all subjects. Children’s carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) together with visceral and intra-abdominal fat were measured by ultrasonography.


Lower maternal 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with lower maternal age, and higher body mass index, triglycerides and hsCRP (all p < 0.05). In women with excessive weight gain during gestation, serum 25(OH)D concentrations showed independent associations with maternal hsCRP (β = −0.283 p = 0.03) and triglycerides (β = −0.436, p = 0.005). Maternal serum 25(OH)D concentrations were also independently associated with cIMT (β = −0.288, p = 0.04), visceral fat (β = −0.281, p = 0.01) and intra-abdominal fat (β = −0.248, p = 0.01) in their children at 5–6 years.


Lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations were related to CVD risk factors in pregnant woman and in their offspring. The cardiometabolic consequences of low 25(OH)D concentrations during pregnancy could be aggravated by excessive weight gain during gestation.

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FdZ is a Clinical Investigator of the Clinical Research Council of the University Hospital Leuven, Belgium. LI is a Clinical Investigator of CIBERDEM (Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas). JB is an Investigator of the Miguel Servet Fund (National Institute of Health Carlos III, Spain). ALB is an Investigator of the I3 Fund for Scientific Research (Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain).

Author contributions

GCB: participated in the design of the study, data acquisition and to the writing of the manuscript; CAB: participated in the acquisition of data and to the writing of the manuscript; LSA: participated in the acquisition of data and to the writing of the manuscript; APP: participated in the acquisition of data and reviewed the manuscript; FDR: participated in the acquisition of data and reviewed the manuscript; PSR: participated in the acquisition of data and reviewed the manuscript; FdZ: participated in the interpretation of data and reviewed the manuscript; LI: participated in the interpretation of data and reviewed the manuscript; JB: conceived the original idea, interpreted the data and reviewed the manuscript. ALB: conceived the original idea, interpreted the data and reviewed the manuscript.


This research was supported by grants from the Carlos III Institute of Health, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain) (MS12/03239 and PI14/01625 to JB and PI16/01335 to ALB), co-funded by FEDER (European Regional Development Fund).

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Correspondence to Judit Bassols or Abel López-Bermejo.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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These authors contributed equally: Judit Bassols, Abel López-Bermejo.

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