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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;67(9):972-7. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.106. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Maternal early-pregnancy vitamin D status in relation to linear growth at the age of 5-6 years: results of the ABCD cohort.

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Department of Epidemiology, Documentation and Health Promotion, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Low vitamin D status during pregnancy may be associated with infant skeletal growth. However, evidence on the longer-term effect is limited. This study aims to assess the association between maternal vitamin D status in early pregnancy and markers of linear growth (height, leg length and relative leg length) of the child at age 5-6 years.


A subsample of data from the Amsterdam Born Children and Development (ABCD) study was used. Ethnic Dutch pregnant women and their children (n=1208) were included. Maternal serum vitamin D level was determined at first antenatal visit (median 13 weeks, interquartile range: 12-14). We investigated the association of maternal vitamin D, corrected for season, with height, leg length and relative leg length at age 5-6 years.


Linear regression analyses showed no significant association between maternal vitamin D levels (nmol/l) and height (cm) (B=-0.006; P=0.205), leg length (cm) (B=-0.002, P=0.540) or relative leg length (%) (B=0.001; P=0.579). Adjustment for potential confounders (parental heights, maternal educational level, alcohol use during pregnancy, child sex, child age at measurement and child screen time) did not change these results.


Maternal vitamin D level was not associated with early linear growth in children. Other factors, such as parental height, appear to be more important.

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