University of Oulu

Sourander, A., Silwal, S., Upadhyaya, S. et al. Maternal serum Vitamin B12 and offspring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 30, 1449–1462 (2021).

Maternal serum Vitamin B12 and offspring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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Author: Sourander, Andre1,2,3; Silwal, Sanju1; Upadhyaya, Subina1;
Organizations: 1Department of Child Psychiatry, Research Centre for Child Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 3/Teutori (3rd floor), 20014, Turku, Finland
2Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
3INVEST Research Flagship, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
4Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Biostatistics, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
7Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
8Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-11


Maternal Vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy is associated with offspring neuropsychiatric disorders. Few previous studies examining this association with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report inconsistent findings. The study examines the association between maternal serum Vitamin B12 levels and offsprings’ risk of ADHD. This study is based on the Finnish Prenatal Study of ADHD with a nested case–control design. All the singleton children born in Finland between January 1998 and December 1999 and diagnosed with ADHD were included in the study. A total of 1026 cases were matched with an equal number of controls on sex, date of birth and place of birth. Maternal Vitamin B12 levels were assessed using a chemiluminescence microparticle immunoassay and archived from maternal serum banks, collected during the first and early second trimester of pregnancy. Lower maternal Vitamin B12 levels when analyzed as a continuous variable was not associated with offspring ADHD (aOR 0.97, 95% CI 0.79–1.18, p = 0.75). No significant associations were seen in the lowest quintile of Vitamin B12 levels (aOR 0.96, 95% CI 0.73–1.27, p = 0.80). This is the first study examining maternal sera Vitamin B12 levels during early pregnancy and offspring ADHD. The result suggests that Vitamin B12 deficiency during early pregnancy has specificity for some disorders but not with offspring ADHD.

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Series: European child & adolescent psychiatry
ISSN: 1018-8827
ISSN-E: 1435-165X
ISSN-L: 1018-8827
Volume: 30
Issue: 9
Pages: 1449 - 1462
DOI: 10.1007/s00787-020-01621-5
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Turku (UTU) including Turku University Central Hospital.
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