Developmental vitamin D and autism spectrum disorders: findings from the Stockholm Youth Cohort

Brian K. Lee, Darryl W. Eyles, Cecilia Magnusson, Craig J. Newschaffer, John J. McGrath, David Kvaskoff, Pauline Ko, Christina Dalman, Håkan Karlsson, Renee M. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Lee, B. K., Eyles, D. W., Magnusson, C., Newschaffer, C. J., McGrath, J. J., Kvaskoff, D., Ko, P., Dalman, C., Karlsson, H., & Gardner, R. M. (Accepted/In press). Developmental vitamin D and autism spectrum disorders: findings from the Stockholm Youth Cohort. Molecular Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-019-0578-y