Maternal Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Andre Sourander
  • Subina Upadhyaya
  • Heljä-Marja Surcel
  • Susanna Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki
  • Keely Cheslack-Postava
  • Sanju Silwal
  • Minna Sucksdorff
  • Alan S. Brown

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-797
Journal / PublicationBiological Psychiatry
Volume90
Issue number11
Online published21 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Findings from previous studies on maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in offspring are inconsistent. 
METHODS: The association between maternal 25(OH)D levels during pregnancy and offspring ASD was examined using data from a nationwide population-based register with a nested case-control study design. The ASD cases (n = 1558) were born between 1987 and 2004 and received a diagnosis of ASD by 2015; cases were matched with an equal number of controls. Maternal 25(OH)D levels during pregnancy were measured using quantitative immunoassay from maternal sera collected during the first and early second trimesters and archived in the national biobank of the Finnish Maternity Cohort. Conditional logistic regression examined the association between maternal 25(OH)D levels and offspring ASD. 
RESULTS: In the adjusted model, there was a significant association between increasing log-transformed maternal 25(OH)D levels and decreasing risk of offspring ASD (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.62–0.92, p = .005). Analyses by quintiles of maternal 25(OH)D levels revealed increased odds for ASD in the 2 lowest quintiles, <20 (aOR 1.36, 95% CI 1.03–1.79, p = .02) and 20–39 (aOR 1.31, 95% CI 1.01–1.70, p = .04), compared with the highest quintile. The increased risk of ASD was observed in association with deficient (<30 nmol/L) (aOR 1.44, 95% CI 1.15–1.81, p = .001) and insufficient (30–49.9 nmol/L) maternal 25(OH)D levels (aOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04–1.52, p = .01) compared with sufficient levels. 
CONCLUSIONS: This finding has implications for understanding the role of maternal vitamin D during fetal brain development and increased risk of ASD.

Research Area(s)

  • ASD, Autism spectrum disorder, Maternal sera 25(OH)D, Maternal vitamin D, Prenatal

Citation Format(s)

Maternal Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Autism Spectrum Disorder. / Sourander, Andre; Upadhyaya, Subina; Surcel, Heljä-Marja; Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, Susanna; Cheslack-Postava, Keely; Silwal, Sanju; Sucksdorff, Minna; McKeague, Ian W.; Brown, Alan S.

In: Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 90, No. 11, 01.12.2021, p. 790-797.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review