Exposure to vitamin D fortified margarine in women with fertility problems and chance of live birth: results from a Danish population-based cohort study

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Allan Jensen, M.Sc., Ph.D., Michella L. Nielsen, M.D., Sonia Guleria, M.D., Susanne K. Kjaer, M.D., D.M.Sc., Berit L. Heitmann, Ph.D., D.M.Sc., Ulrik S. Kesmodel, M.D., Ph.D.



To study the association between extra vitamin D from a mandatory margarine fortification program and chance of live birth among infertile women.


Nationwide cohort study.


Not applicable.


The study population consisted of 16,212 women diagnosed with infertility from June 1, 1980, to August 31, 1991.


We took advantage of the mandatory vitamin D fortification program of margarine in Denmark that was abruptly stopped on May 31, 1985. The termination of the vitamin D fortification served as a cutoff point to separate the study population into various exposure groups.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between vitamin D exposure status and chance of a live birth within 12, 15, and 18 months after first infertility diagnosis.


Women who were diagnosed with infertility during the vitamin D–exposed period had an increased chance of a live birth compared with women diagnosed with infertility during the nonexposed period. For women diagnosed with infertility during the wash-out period, the chance of a live birth was also increased, but somewhat lower. Similar estimates were obtained with longer follow-up, in women with anovulatory infertility, and little seasonal variation was observed when calendar period of conception was applied.


Our findings suggest that infertile women exposed to extra vitamin D from a margarine fortification program had an increased chance of live birth compared with women not exposed to extra vitamin D from fortification.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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