Vitamin D Deficiency in Pregnant Ukrainian Women: Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Vitamin D Status

Charles R. Carlson, Janet Y. Uriu-Adams, Christina D. Chambers, Lyubov Yevtushok, Natalya Zymak-Zakutnya, Priscilla H. Chan, Jordan J. Schafer, Wladimir Wertelecki, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Heavy alcohol consumption can alter vitamin D status; however, the relationships between alcohol consumption and vitamin D concentrations in pregnant women have not been well studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the vitamin D status in a population of alcohol-exposed (N = 180) and low/unexposed control (N = 179) Ukrainian pregnant women. Methods: Women who attended prenatal care facilities in 2 regions of Ukraine (Rivne and Khmelnytsky) for a routine prenatal visit were screened for the study. At the time of enrollment (20.4 ± 7.0 weeks of gestation), blood samples and alcohol consumption data (during a typical week around conception and the most recent 2 weeks) were collected. Vitamin D status was assessed by 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations. Results: A high prevalence of suboptimal vitamin D status in pregnant Ukrainian women was observed. Overall, 50.1% and 33.4% of the women were classified as vitamin D deficient [25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL] or insufficient [25(OH)D ≥ 20 ng/mL and ≤30 ng/mL], respectively, based on 2011 Endocrine Society guidelines. Alcohol-exposed women had significantly lower 25(OH)D concentrations than low/unexposed women in Spring (p = 0.006) and Winter (p = 0.022). When vitamin D concentrations were grouped into sunny season (Summer + Fall) compared to not sunny season (Winter + Spring), there was a significant ethanol by season interaction (p = 0.0028), with alcohol-drinking women having lower circulating vitamin D compared to low/unexposed women in seasons of low sun availability. Conclusions: These data suggest that when vitamin D concentrations are generally low (e.g., during seasons of low sun availability), alcohol consumption during pregnancy has a negative impact on vitamin D status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-56
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • 25(OH)D
  • alcohol
  • pregnancy
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin D deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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