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Higher vitamin D in pregnancy resulted in 2X better infant psychomotor and mental scores – Sept 2012

Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 in Pregnancy and Infant Neuropsychological Development

Pediatrics Published online September 17, 2012
Eva Morales, MD, PhD, MPHa,b,c,*, Mònica Guxens, MD, MPH, PhDa,b,c,*, Sabrina Llop, MSc, PhDc,d, Clara L. Rodríguez-Bernal, DDS, MPHc,d, Adonina Tardón, MD, PhDc,e, Isolina Riaño, MD, PhDf, Jesús Ibarluzea, MSc, PhDg, Nerea Lertxundi, MSch,i, Mercedes Espada, PhDj, Agueda Rodriguez, MDk, Jordi Sunyer, MD, PhDa,b,c,l, and on behalf of the INMA Project
A Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain;
B Hospital del Mar Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain;
C CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain;
D Centro Superior de Investigación en Salud Publica (CSISP), Valencia, Spain;
E Department of Public Health, University of Oviedo, Asturias, Spain;
F Servicio de Pediatria, Hospital San Agustín, Avilés, Asturias, Spain;
G Departamento de Sanidad del Gobierno Vasco, Subdirección de Salud Publica de Guipuzcoa, Euskadi, Spain;
H Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Euskadi (BIODONOSTIA), Euskadi, Spain;
I Faculty of Psychology, University of Basque Country, Euskadi, Spain;
J Clinical Chemistry Unit, Public Health Laboratory of Bilbao, Euskadi, Spain;
K Servicio de Ginecología y Obstetricia, Hospital Parc Taulí, Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain; and
L Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
?* Drs Morales and Guxens contributed equally to this work.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] concentration in pregnancy is associated with neuropsychological development in infants.

METHODS: The Spanish population-based cohort study INfancia y Medio Ambiente Project recruited pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy between November 2003 and February 2008. Completed data on 1820 mother-infant pairs were used. Maternal plasma 25(OH)D3 concentration was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in pregnancy (mean 13.5±2.1 weeks of gestation). Offspring mental and psychomotor scores were assessed by trained psychologists at age 14 months (range, 11–23) by using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. ?-Coefficients with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of mental and psychomotor scores associated with continuous or categorical concentrations of maternal plasma 25(OH)D3 were calculated by using linear regression analysis.

RESULTS: The median plasma value of 25(OH)D3 in pregnancy was 29.6 ng/mL (interquartile range, 21.8–37.3). A positive linear relationship was found between circulating concentrations of maternal 25(OH)D3 concentrations in pregnancy and mental and psychomotor scores in the offspring. After adjustment for potential confounders, infants of mothers with 25(OH)D3 concentrations in pregnancy >30 ng/mL showed

  • higher mental score (? = 2.60; 95% CI 0.63–4.56) and
  • higher psychomotor score (? = 2.32; 95% CI 0.36–4.28)

in comparison with those of mothers with 25(OH)D3 concentrations <20 ng/mL.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher circulating concentration of maternal 25(OH)D3 in pregnancy was associated with improved mental and psychomotor development in infants.


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  • Vitamin D and the developing brain Vitamin D Council Oct 2012, which mentions:
    Whitehouse AJ, Holt BJ, Serralha M, Holt PG, Kusel MM, Hart PH. Maternal Serum Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Neurocognitive Development. Pediatrics. 2012 Feb 13.
    Tolppanen AM, Williams D, Lawlor DA. The association of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcium with cognitive performance in adolescents:
      cross-sectional study using data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2011 Jan;25(1):67-74.
    Eyles D, Brown J, Mackay-Sim A, McGrath J, Feron F. Vitamin D3 and brain development. Neuroscience. 2003;118(3):641-53.
    Eyles D, Burne T, McGrath J. Vitamin D in fetal brain development. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Aug;22(6):629-36. Epub 2011 Jun 6. Review.
    Harms LR, Burne TH, Eyles DW, McGrath JJ. Vitamin D and the brain. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;25(4):657-69. Review.
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