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Gestational vitamin D deficiency and autism spectrum disorder

  • Anna A. E. Vinkhuyzen (a1), Darryl W. Eyles (a2), Thomas H. J. Burne (a2), Laura M. E. Blanken (a3), Claudia J. Kruithof (a4), Frank Verhulst (a5), Tonya White (a5), Vincent W. Jaddoe (a6), Henning Tiemeier (a7) and John J. McGrath (a2)...
Abstract
Background

There is growing interest in linking vitamin D deficiency with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The association between vitamin D deficiency during gestation, a critical period in neurodevelopment, and ASD is not well understood.

Aims

To determine the association between gestational vitamin D status and ASD.

Method

Based on a birth cohort (n=4334), we examined the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), assessed from both maternal mid-gestation sera and neonatal sera, and ASD (defined by clinical records; n=68 cases).

Results

Individuals in the 25OHD-deficient group at mid-gestation had more than twofold increased risk of ASD (odds ratio (OR)=2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 5.07, P=0.03) compared with the sufficient group. The findings persisted in analyses including children of European ethnicity only.

Conclusions

Mid-gestational vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased risk of ASD. Because gestational vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable with safe, inexpensive and readily available supplementation, this risk factor warrants closer scrutiny.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) license.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: John J. McGrath, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia. Email: j.mcgrath@uq.edu.au
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Gestational vitamin D deficiency and autism spectrum disorder

  • Anna A. E. Vinkhuyzen (a1), Darryl W. Eyles (a2), Thomas H. J. Burne (a2), Laura M. E. Blanken (a3), Claudia J. Kruithof (a4), Frank Verhulst (a5), Tonya White (a5), Vincent W. Jaddoe (a6), Henning Tiemeier (a7) and John J. McGrath (a2)...
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