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Korean J Pediatr. 2013 Oct;56(10):439-45. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2013.56.10.439. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Association between cord blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and respiratory tract infections in the first 6 months of age in a Korean population: a birth cohort study (COCOA).

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Gangnam CHA Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Previous studies suggest that the concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in cord blood may show an inverse association with respiratory tract infections (RTI) during childhood. The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of 25(OH)D concentrations in cord blood on infant RTI in a Korean birth cohort.

METHODS:

The levels of 25(OH)D in cord blood obtained from 525 Korean newborns in the prospective COhort for Childhood Origin of Asthma and allergic diseases were examined. The primary outcome variable of interest was the prevalence of RTI at 6-month follow-up, as diagnosed by pediatricians and pediatric allergy and pulmonology specialists. RTI included acute nasopharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, otitis media, croup, tracheobronchitis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.

RESULTS:

The median concentration of 25(OH)D in cord blood was 32.0 nmol/L (interquartile range, 21.4 to 53.2). One hundred and eighty neonates (34.3%) showed 25(OH)D concentrations less than 25.0 nmol/L, 292 (55.6%) showed 25(OH)D concentrations of 25.0-74.9 nmol/L, and 53 (10.1%) showed concentrations of ≥75.0 nmol/L. Adjusting for the season of birth, multivitamin intake during pregnancy, and exposure to passive smoking during pregnancy, 25(OH)D concentrations showed an inverse association with the risk of acquiring acute nasopharyngitis by 6 months of age (P for trend=0.0004).

CONCLUSION:

The results show that 89.9% of healthy newborns in Korea are born with vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency (55.6% and 34.3%, respectively). Cord blood vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency in healthy neonates is associated with an increased risk of acute nasopharyngitis by 6 months of age. More time spent outdoors and more intensified vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women may be needed to prevent the onset of acute nasopharyngitis in infants.

KEYWORDS:

Cohort studies; Infant; Respiratory tract infections; Umbilical cord blood; Vitamin D

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