Neonatal vitamin D supplementation: are the protocols getting ahead of the evidence?

Kate M McCloskey, Natalie Wright, Anne-Louise Ponsonby and Peter J Vuillermin
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.10493
Published online: 12 December 2011

To the Editor: We recently reviewed the individual policies of seven Australian tertiary maternity hospitals, from across all states, regarding neonatal vitamin D supplementation. An Australian 2006 consensus statement concerning the treatment and prevention of vitamin D deficiency in children and neonates identified the need to implement vitamin D supplementation in neonates born to mothers with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels of ≤ 50 nmol/L.1 Despite this, we found that a number of institutions have recently adopted a policy of treating infants of mothers with an antenatal serum 25-OHD level of < 75 nmol/L. Treatment of the neonate is with oral stoss therapy (50 000 IU vitamin D as a single dose) and/or daily oral vitamin D therapy (1000 IU) until cessation of breastfeeding. It should be noted that previous research has suggested that a substantial proportion of Australian women of childbearing age have a serum 25-OHD level < 75 nmol/L.2

  • 1 Child Health Research Unit, Barwon Health, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Munns C, Zacharin MR, Rodda CP, et al. Prevention and treatment of infant and childhood vitamin D deficiency in Australia and New Zealand: a consensus statement. Med J Aust 2006; 185: 268-272. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Bowyer L, Catling-Paull C, Diamond T, et al. Vitamin D, PTH and calcium levels in pregnant women and their neonates. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2009; 70: 372-377.
  • 3. Ramagopalan SV, Heger A, Berlanga AJ, et al. A ChIP-seq defined genome-wide map of vitamin D receptor binding: associations with disease and evolution. Genome Res 2010; 20: 1352-1360.
  • 4. Hyppönen E, Sovio U, Wjst M, et al. Infant vitamin d supplementation and allergic conditions in adulthood: northern Finland birth cohort 1966. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004; 1037: 84-95.
  • 5. Hughes AM, Lucas RM, Ponsonby AL, et al. The role of latitude, ultraviolet radiation exposure and vitamin D in childhood asthma and hayfever: an Australian multicenter study. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011; 22: 327-333. Epub 2010; 30 Sep. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01099.x


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.