Early pregnancy Vitamin D status and risk of preeclampsia

Hooman Mirzakhani, Augusto A. Litonjua, Thomas F. McElrath, George O'Connor, Aviva Lee-Parritz, Ronald Iverson, George MacOnes, Robert C. Strunk, Leonard B. Bacharier, Robert Zeiger, Bruce W. Hollis, Diane E. Handy, Amitabh Sharma, Nancy Laranjo, Vincent Carey, Weilliang Qiu, Marc Santolini, Shikang Liu, Divya Chhabra, Daniel A. EnquobahrieMichelle A. Williams, Joseph Loscalzo, Scott T. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Background. Low vitamin D status in pregnancy was proposed as a risk factor of preeclampsia. METHODS. We assessed the effect of vitamin D supplementation (4,400 vs. 400 IU/day), initiated early in pregnancy (10-18 weeks), on the development of preeclampsia. The effects of serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25OHD]) levels on preeclampsia incidence at trial entry and in the third trimester (32-38 weeks) were studied. We also conducted a nested casecontrol study of 157 women to investigate peripheral blood vitamin D-associated gene expression profiles at 10 to 18 weeks in 47 participants who developed preeclampsia. RESULTS. Of 881 women randomized, outcome data were available for 816, with 67 (8.2%) developing preeclampsia. There was no significant difference between treatment (N = 408) or control (N = 408) groups in the incidence of preeclampsia (8.08% vs. 8.33%, respectively; relative risk: 0.97; 95% CI, 0.61-1.53). However, in a cohort analysis and after adjustment for confounders, a significant effect of sufficient vitamin D status (25OHD =30 ng/ml) was observed in both early and late pregnancy compared with insufficient levels (25OHD <30 ng/ml) (adjusted odds ratio, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.10-0.96). Differential expression of 348 vitamin D-associated genes (158 upregulated) was found in peripheral blood of women who developed preeclampsia (FDR <0.05 in the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial [VDAART]; P < 0.05 in a replication cohort). Functional enrichment and network analyses of this vitamin D-associated gene set suggests several highly functional modules related to systematic inflammatory and immune responses, including some nodes with a high degree of connectivity. CONCLUSIONS. Vitamin D supplementation initiated in weeks 10-18 of pregnancy did not reduce preeclampsia incidence in the intention-to-treat paradigm. However, vitamin D levels of 30 ng/ml or higher at trial entry and in late pregnancy were associated with a lower risk of preeclampsia. Differentially expressed vitamin D-associated transcriptomes implicated the emergence of an early pregnancy, distinctive immune response in women who went on to develop preeclampsia. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00920621.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4702-4715
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


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