Based on a new study released in Biological Psychiatry, maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may be linked to a higher risk of autism spectrum disorder in the offspring.
The study looked at pre-existing data that includes cases of autism spectrum disorder from subjects born between 1987 and 2004.
“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,” according to the study’s authors.
“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.”
The findings showed a significant association between increasing log-transformed maternal 25(OH)D levels and declining risk of offspring autism.
“Vitamin D deficiency is a major global problems,” said one co-author of the study in a press release.
“The results are significant for public health as vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable.”