Changes in calcium, 25(OH) vitamin D3 and other biochemical factors during pregnancy
E. Ainy1, A.A.M. Ghazi2, and F. Azizi3
1,2,3Endocrine Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran

Introduction and aims: Calcium and vitamin D play major roles in calcium homeostasis and skeletal development, especially during pregnancy. This study was conducted to determine changes in calcium, 25 hydroxy [25(OH)] vitamin D3 and other biochemical factors (PTH, osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase, magnesium, phosphorus) related to calcium homeostasis and bone turnover during pregnancy and compare the values to those of non-pregnant women. Materials and Methods: In a cohort study, 48 pregnant women, in their first trimester of pregnancy (12±2.7 weeks), from 5 prenatal care centers, and 47 non-pregnant women randomly selected from the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS) population were enrolled. These pregnant women were followed in their second (26±1.9 weeks) and third trimesters (37±3.2 weeks) of pregnancy. Samples were drawn from June 2002 to March 2003. Including criteria were healthy women with no background of disease. Women using photo protection and calcium and vitamin D supplementation were excluded. A questionnaire was used to obtain demographic information for both groups. Venous blood samples were taken after 12-14 h of overnight fasting to measure serum calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, alkaline phosphatase, PTH, 25 (OH) vitamin D3 and serum osteocalcin levels. The repeated measures analysis of variance and t-test were used for statistical analysis. Data were matched for age and weight in both the case (in the first trimester) and control groups. Results: Significant differences were found in the mean serum levels of osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase between the three trimesters of pregnancy (p<0.001). Osteocalcin was significantly higher in the first trimester as compared to second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Alkaline phosphatase was significantly lower in the first trimester as compared to the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and their controls. There was also a significant difference in osteocalcin in the second and third trimesters and alkaline phosphatase in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy in comparison to the control group. The mean values of osteocalcin were 12.7±8.5, 8.1±6.9, 5.6±5.0 and 13.9±7.9 ng/ml, respectively, and mean values for alkaline phosphatase were 115±38, 125±37, 174±61 and 134±35.0 Iu/l, respectively. In the first trimester, alkaline phosphatase was lower and osteocalcin was higher than in the second and third trimesters. In the first trimester of pregnancy, 20 and 40% of women had 25(OH) vitamin D3 <10 and <20 ng/ml, respectively, and 19% of women had serum calcium levels <8.6 mg/dl. Conclusion: 60% of women in the first trimester, 48% in the second and 47% in the third trimester had either severe or moderate vitamin D deficiency. It is recommended that the importance of calcium supplements with vitamin D in pregnant women be stressed for these individuals. (J. Endocrinol. Invest. 29: 303-307, 2006) ©2006, Editrice Kurtis 

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