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Maternal Vitamin D Status and the Relationship with Neonatal Anthropometric and Childhood Neurodevelopmental Outcomes: Results from the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study

Laird, Eamon, Thurston, Sally W., van Wijngaarden, Edwin, Shamlaye, Conrad F., Myers, Gary J., Davidson, Philip W., Watson, Gene E., McSorley, Emeir M., Mulhern, Maria S., Yeates, Alison J., Ward, Mary, McNulty, Helene, Strain, J. J.
Nutrients 2017 v.9 no.11
birth weight, blood sampling, blood serum, child development, child health, childhood, children, gestational age, head circumference, mothers, pregnancy, pregnant women, regression analysis, vitamin D, vitamin status, vitamin supplements, Seychelles
Vitamin D has an important role in early life; however, the optimal vitamin D status during pregnancy is currently unclear. There have been recent calls for pregnant women to maintain circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations >100 nmol/L for health, yet little is known about the long-term potential benefits or safety of achieving such high maternal 25(OH)D concentrations for infant or child health outcomes. We examined maternal vitamin D status and its associations with infant anthropometric and later childhood neurocognitive outcomes in a mother-child cohort in a sun-rich country near the equator (4.6° S). This study was conducted in pregnant mothers originally recruited to the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study. Blood samples (n = 202) taken at delivery were analysed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations. Multiple linear regression models assessed associations between maternal 25(OH)D and birth weight, infant head circumference, and neurocognitive outcomes in the children at age 5 years. Mothers were, on average, 27 years of age, and the children’s average gestational age was 39 weeks. None of the women reported any intake of vitamin D supplements. Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations had a mean of 101 (range 34–218 nmol/L) and none were deficient (<30 nmol/L). Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with child anthropometric or neurodevelopmental outcomes. These findings appear to indicate that a higher vitamin D status is not a limiting factor for neonatal growth or neurocognitive development in the first 5 years of life. Larger studies with greater variability in vitamin D status are needed to further explore optimal cut-offs or non-linear associations (including for maternal health) that might exist among populations with sub-optimal exposure.