Pregnant women with low serum 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations (≤46 nmol/L) are more than twice as likely as those with levels ≥72 nmol/L to have a child whose language development is impaired, according to a large, prospective, longitudinal study published in Pediatrics (2012;129:485-493).
Serum vitamin D levels of 743 white women from Perth, Western Australia, were measured at 18 weeks of pregnancy and used to stratify the women into quartiles.
As maternal 25(OH)-vitamin D levels during pregnancy decreased, the proportion of mothers who had offspring with mild to moderately severe language difficulties at ages 5 and 10 increased significantly.
However, no significant associations were found between maternal vitamin D insufficiency and behavioral or emotional problems in offspring at any age.
“The findings suggest that the trend over the past decade of a reduction in vitamin D levels among women of reproductive age has significant implications for offspring neurodevelopment and public health more generally,” the authors write.
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