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Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

A new study finds that women who develop a severe form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure tend to have lower blood levels of vitamin D. The condition is known as early-onset severe preeclampsia, and it contributes to about 15 percent of preterm births in the U.S. each year.

Researchers found that vitamin D levels were generally low among 50 women with early severe preeclampsia. Their average vitamin D level in the former group was a very low 18 nanograms per milliliter.

Reuters reports:

“If vitamin D is involved in preeclampsia risk ... then it might help explain why African American women are at greater risk of the complication than other racial groups ... Vitamin D is naturally synthesized in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. This process is less efficient in people with darker skin”.

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