University of Oulu

Arrhenius, B.; Upadhyaya, S.; Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S.; Brown, A.S.; Cheslack-Postava, K.; Öhman, H.; Sourander, A. Prenatal Vitamin D Levels in Maternal Sera and Offspring Specific Learning Disorders. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3321.

Prenatal vitamin D levels in maternal sera and offspring specific learning disorders

Saved in:
Author: Arrhenius, Bianca1,2; Upadhyaya, Subina1,2; Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, Susanna1,2;
Organizations: 1Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
2INVEST Research Flagship, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
3Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
4Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY 10032, USA
5Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
6Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland, Oulu University Hospital, 90014 Oulu, Finland
7Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, 20521 Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-23


Recent evidence has suggested potential harmful effects of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy on offspring brain development, for example, elevated risks for neuropsychiatric disorders. Findings on general cognition and academic achievement are mixed, and no studies have examined the effect of prenatal 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels on diagnosed specific learning disorders, which was the aim of this study. We examined a nested case–control sample from the source cohort of all singleton-born children in Finland between 1996 and 1997 (n = 115,730). A total of 1607 cases with specific learning disorders (mean age at diagnosis: 9.9 years) and 1607 matched controls were identified from Finnish nationwide registers. Maternal 25(OH)D levels were analyzed from serum samples collected during the first trimester of pregnancy and stored in a national biobank. Conditional logistic regression was used to test the association between maternal 25(OH)D and offspring specific learning disorders. There were no significant associations between maternal 25(OH)D levels and specific learning disorders when vitamin D was examined as a log-transformed continuous variable (adjusted OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.82–1.18, p = 0.84) or as a categorical variable (25(OH)D < 30 nmol/L: adjusted OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.83–1.28, p = 0.77 compared to levels of >50 nmol/L), nor when it was divided into quintiles (adjusted OR for the lowest quintile 1.00, 95% CI 0.78–1.28, p = 0.99 compared to the highest quintile). This study found no association between low maternal 25(OH)D in early pregnancy and offspring specific learning disorders.

see all

Series: Nutrients
ISSN: 2072-6643
ISSN-E: 2072-6643
ISSN-L: 2072-6643
Volume: 13
Issue: 10
Article number: 3321
DOI: 10.3390/nu13103321
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: This research was funded by the Academy of Finland INVEST Flagship Programme (decision number: 320162) and the Academy of Finland Health from Cohorts and Biobanks Programme (decision number: 308552). In addition, Dr Arrhenius received grant funding from Svenska Kulturfonden.
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (