Background and purpose: In relapsing-remitting MS patients, lower serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with higher relapse risk. In a number of conditions, low vitamin D has been associated with fatigue. Pregnant women are at particular risk for vitamin D insufficiency. Our objective was to investigate whether vitamin D status is associated with postpartum relapse and quality of life during pregnancy. Methods: Forty-three pregnant relapsing-remitting MS patients and 21 pregnant controls were seen at regular times before, during and after pregnancy. At every clinical assessment visit, samples for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) measurements and quality of life questionnaires were taken. Results: Lower 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with postpartum relapse risk. Pregnancy 25(OH)D levels of patients and controls were not significantly different. In controls, but not patients, higher 25(OH)D concentrations were correlated with better general health, social functioning and mental health, but not with vitality. Conclusion: Low vitamin D levels are not associated with postpartum relapse. In pregnant MS patients, vitamin D levels are similar to levels in healthy women and are not associated with quality of life. Therefore, with regard to quality of life and postpartum relapse, no arguments were found for advising pregnant MS patients to take more vitamin D supplements than healthy women.

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European Journal of Neurology
Department of Internal Medicine

Runia, T., Neuteboom, R., de Groot, C., de Rijke, Y., & Hintzen, R. (2015). The influence of vitamin D on postpartum relapse and quality of life in pregnant multiple sclerosis patients. European Journal of Neurology, 22(3), 479–484. doi:10.1111/ene.12594