The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Nagwa A. Meguid, Adel F. Hashish, Mona Anwar, Gloria Sidhom. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. June 2010, 16(6): 641-645. doi:10.1089/acm.2009.0349.
Published in Volume: 16 Issue 6: June 22, 2010
Nagwa A. Meguid, Ph.D.,1
Adel F. Hashish, Ph.D.,1
Mona Anwar, Ph.D.,1 and
Gloria Sidhom, M.D., Ph.D.2
1Departments of Research on Children with Special Needs, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.
2Clinical and Chemical Pathology, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.
Gloria Sidhom, M.D., Ph.D.; Clinical and Chemical Pathology; National Research Centre
P.O. Box 5216; Heliopolis West; Cairo 11771; Egypt
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the potential role of vitamin D in autism through serum level assessment.
Design: This was a case-controlled cross-sectional study.
Setting: The study was conducted at the Out-patient Clinic for “Children with Special Needs” at the Medical Services Unit of the National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt.
Subjects: Seventy (70) children with autism diagnosed according to the DSM-IV criteria of the American Psychiatric Association were recruited for this study. The mean age±standard deviation (SD) of the patients was 5.3±2.8 years. Controls included 42 age-matched randomly selected healthy children of the same socioeconomic status (mean age±SD, 6.1±1.8 years).
Methods: Circulating levels of both forms of vitamin D (25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D) and serum calcium were measured for all subjects. Associations between vitamin D status, birth season, and clinical characteristics of autism were examined.
Results: Children with autism had significantly lower 25(OH)D (p<0.00001) and 1,25(OH)2D (p<0.005) as well as lower calcium (p<0.0001) serum values than the controls. A significant positive correlation was obtained between 25(OH)D and calcium (correlation coefficient r=0.309, p<0.01) within the children with autism. No significant difference was found on comparison of birth month and season of birth between children with autism and healthy controls. Furthermore, associations linking parental consanguinity or convulsions with vitamin D could not be established.