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Pediatr Obes. 2018 Aug;13(8):467-475. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12267. Epub 2018 Jan 28.

Low maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy increases the risk of childhood obesity.

Author information

1
Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
2
Department of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, University Hospital of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
3
Lab of Clinical Chemistry-Biochemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.
4
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
5
Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).
6
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
7
Department of Genetics and Cell Biology, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vitamin D may modulate adipogenesis. However, limited studies have investigated the effect of maternal vitamin D during pregnancy on offspring adiposity or cardiometabolic parameters with inconclusive results.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this study is to examine the association of maternal 25(OH)-vitamin D [25(OH)D] status with offspring obesity and cardiometabolic characteristics in 532 mother-child pairs from the prospective pregnancy cohort Rhea in Crete, Greece.

METHODS:

Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations were measured at the first prenatal visit (mean: 14 weeks, SD: 4). Child outcomes included body mass index standard deviation score, waist circumference, skin-fold thickness, blood pressure and serum lipids at ages 4 and 6 years. Body fat percentage was also measured at 6 years. Body mass index growth trajectories from birth to 6 years were estimated by mixed effects models with fractional polynomials of age. Adjusted associations were obtained via multivariable linear regression analyses.

RESULTS:

About two-thirds of participating mothers had 25(OH)D concentrations <50 nmol L-1 . Offspring of women in the low 25(OH)D tertile (<37.7 nmol L-1 ) had higher body mass index standard deviation score (β 0.20, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.37), and waist circumference (β 0.87 95% CI: 0.12, 1.63) at preschool age, compared with the offspring of women with higher 25(OH)D measurements (≥37.7 nmol L-1 ), on covariate-adjusted analyses. The observed relationships persisted at age 6 years. We found no association between maternal 25(OH)D concentrations and offspring blood pressure or serum lipids at both time points.

CONCLUSIONS:

Exposure to very low 25(OH)D concentrations in utero may increase childhood adiposity indices. Given that vitamin D is a modifiable risk factor, our findings may have important public health implications.

KEYWORDS:

Child blood pressure; child lipids; child obesity; pregnancy; preschool age; vitamin D

PMID:
29377526
DOI:
10.1111/ijpo.12267

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