Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy ‘almost doubles risk of MS in children’ – Telegraph.co.uk
Dr Kassandra Munger of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said: “While our results suggest that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy increases MS risk in the offspring, our study does not provide any information as to whether there is a dose-response effect with increasing levels of 25(OH)D sufficiency.
“Similar studies in populations with a wider distribution of 25(OH)D are needed.”
The study published by JAMA Neurology looked at 193 individuals, of which 163 were female, diagnosed with MS whose mothers were part of the Finnish Maternity Cohort.
This was matched with 176 case patients with 326 control participants for comparison.
The majority of maternal blood samples (70 per cent) to measure 25(OH)D levels had been collected during the first trimester and the average maternal vitamin D levels were in the insufficient vitamin D range.
The risk of MS as an adult was 90 per cent higher in children of mothers who were vitamin-D deficient (25(OH)D levels less than 12.02 ng/mL) compared with the children of mothers who were not vitamin D deficient.
Two prior studies examining the association between 25(OH)D levels in pregnancy/early life did not find an association with future MS risk in children.
In the current study, the authors note a few limitations, including that maternal 25(OH)D levels during pregnancy are not a direct measure of the 25(OH)D levels to which the developing foetus is exposed.
In an editorial Dr Benjamin Greenberg of the University of Texas Southwestern wrote: “The study was made possible by biobanking efforts in Finland as part of the Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC).
“When the FMC was established, it was not intended to create a resource for MS research, but its existence has created a powerful tool for understanding complex biology and disease.”