Third trimester maternal vitamin D and early childhood socioemotional development

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Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology

MeSH Headings

Child Development; Child, Preschool; Female; Humans; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Trimester, Third; Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency (epidemiology); Vitamins


BACKGROUND: Whether maternal vitamin D affects offspring socioemotional development in early childhood has been underexplored. OBJECTIVES: This study examined associations between maternal vitamin D during in the 3rd trimester and offspring socioemotional development between 30 and 59 months. METHODS: Data from 87 maternal-offspring pairs enrolled in the National Children's Study were used. Total plasma maternal vitamin D (25-hydroxyergocalciferol + 25-hydroxycholecalciferol) was measured between 28 and 35 gestational weeks and categorised as quartiles (Q). Multivariable regression models, adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity, education, and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI [kg/m ]), were used to estimate the association between vitamin D and offspring scores on the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA). RESULTS: The mean (standard deviation) vitamin D concentration was 86.5 (27.8) nmol/L. The median (range) BITSEA problem score was 6.0 (0.0-30.0), and competence score was 19.0 (7.0-22.0). Maternal vitamin D was inversely related to offspring problem scores. Compared to offspring of women with 25(OH)D in Q1, offspring problem scores were -4.80 (95% confidence interval [CI] -8.29, -1.33) units lower for Q2 vs Q1, -5.64 (95% CI -9.60, -1.68) units lower for Q3 vs Q1, and -4.70 (95% CI -8.59, -0.82) units lower for Q4 vs Q1. Vitamin D was not associated with offspring competence score. CONCLUSIONS: Higher maternal vitamin D was associated with lower offspring behaviour problems and not associated with socioemotional competence. These data indicate the association of maternal vitamin D and offspring development may be dependent on the specific developmental component being investigated.

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