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Autism spectrum disorder and low vitamin D at birth: a sibling control study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2015 (English)In: Molecular Autism, ISSN 2040-2392, Vol. 6, 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Insufficient vitamin D activity has attracted increasing interest as a possible underlying risk factor in disorders of the central nervous system, including autism. Methods: In this study, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D) was analysed in 58 Sweden-born sibling pairs, in which one child had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the other did not. The study group consisted of two representative samples; 47 Gothenburg sibling pairs with mixed ethnicities and 11 Stockholm sibling pairs with Somali background. 25(OH) D levels were analysed in the stored dried blood spots taken in the neonatal period for metabolic screening. Results: The collapsed group of children with ASD had significantly lower vitamin D levels (M = 24.0 nM, SD = 19.6) as compared with their siblings (M = 31.9 nM, SD = 27.7), according to a paired samples t-test (P = 0.013). The difference was-most likely-not only accounted for by a difference in season of birth between ASD and non-ASD siblings since the mean 25(OH)D levels differed with similar effect size between the sibling pairs born during winter and summer, respectively. All children with African/Middle East background, both the children with ASD and their non-ASD siblings, had vitamin D deficiency. Conclusions: The findings suggest that low prenatal vitamin D may act as a risk factor for ASD, however, there is a need for replication with larger samples. Future research should study whether or not adequate supplementation of vitamin D to pregnant women might lower the risk for ASD in the offspring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 6, 3
Keyword [en]
Autism spectrum disorder, Vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, Neonatal, Dried blood spots
National Category
Medical Genetics Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115946DOI: 10.1186/2040-2392-6-3ISI: 000350599000002OAI: diva2:802866


Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-08 Last updated: 2015-04-13Bibliographically approved

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Westerlund, Joakim
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