Mol Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 6. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0578-y
Lee BK1,2,3, Eyles DW4,5, Magnusson C6, Newschaffer CJ7,8, McGrath JJ4,5,9, Kvaskoff D4, Ko P4,5, Dalman C6, Karlsson H10, Gardner RM6.
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Animal studies indicate that early life vitamin D is crucial for proper neurodevelopment. Few studies have examined whether maternal and neonatal vitamin D concentrations influence risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Participants were sampled from the Stockholm Youth Cohort, a register-based cohort in Sweden. Concentrations of total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) were assessed from maternal and neonatal biosamples using a highly sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method.
The maternal sample consisted of 449 ASD cases and 574 controls, the neonatal sample: 1399 ASD cases and 1607 controls; and the paired maternal-neonatal sample: 340 ASD cases and 426 controls.
Maternal 25OHD was not associated with child ASD in the overall sample. However, in Nordic-born mothers, maternal 25OHD insufficiency (25 - <50 nmol/L) at ~11 weeks gestation was associated with 1.58 times higher odds of ASD (95% CI: 1.00, 2.49) as compared with 25OHD sufficiency (≥50 nmol/L).
Neonatal 25OHD < 25 nmol/L was associated with 1.33 times higher odds of ASD (95% CI: 1.02, 1.75) as compared with 25OHD ≥ 50 nmol/L.
Sibling-matched control analyses indicated these associations were not likely due to familial confounding.
Children with both maternal 25OHD and neonatal 25OHD below the median had 1.75 (95% CI: 1.08, 2.86) times the odds of ASD compared with children with maternal and neonatal 25OHD both below the median. Our results are consistent with an increasing body of evidence suggesting that vitamin D concentrations in early life may be associated with increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders including ASD.