Dec 24, 2008 | 1
Pregnant women with vitamin D deficiencies are more likely than other expectant moms to deliver their babies via cesarean section.
"Women with a vitamin D deficiency were almost 4 times more likely to have a cesarean than those with [normal] vitamin D levels," says senior study author Anne Merewood, an assistant pediatrics professor at Boston University School of Medicine. "Vitamin D is definitely involved in muscle strength…. contractions of the uterus [which is made of smooth muscle] may not be performing as well as they could be," making it difficult for the woman to help push the baby out herself.
This research was actually part of a larger study (the findings of which are yet to be published) of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiencies among women of childbearing age. Merewood told ScientificAmerican.com that 156 (36 percent) of the 433 women in the larger study were found to be vitamin D deficient and 100 (23 percent) severely deficient. This translates into a potentially major public health problem, as vitamin D deficiency was recently linked to a number of chronic diseases, including cancer and multiple sclerosis.
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