Preterm newborns have a far higher risk of vitamin A, E and D deficiency than full term babies, researchers have suggested.
The study, published in the journal Peditatrics & Neonatology, looked at the prevalence and risk factors for the deficiencies in Tunisian very low birth weight newborns.
The lower the birth weight and gestational age the greater the prevalence of A, E and D deficiency, they found.
Meanwhile, Vitamin E and D deficiency were significantly more common in neonates whose mothers suffered from pre-eclampsia a condition that affects some pregnant women durgin the second half of pregnancy or just after delivery.
Vitamin E deficiency was more frequent in the case of gestational diabetes.
Such deficiencies expose infants to increased chances of morbidity and mortality, the Tunisian researchers said.