Low vitamin D levels at birth linked to higher autism risk

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Low vitamin D levels at birth linked to higher autism risk

Low vitamin D levels at birth were associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) at the age of 3 years in a recent Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study.

In the study of 27,940 newborns in China, 310 were diagnosed with ASDs at 3 years of age, with a prevalence of 1.11 percent.

When the 310 children with ASDs were compared with 1,240 control subjects, the risk of ASDs was significantly increased in each of the three lower quartiles of vitamin D level at birth, when compared with the highest quartile: an increased risk of ASDs by 260 percent in the lowest quartile, 150 percent in the second quartile, and 90 percent in the third quartile.

“Neonatal vitamin D status was significantly associated with the risk of ASDs and intellectual disability,” said senior author Dr. Yuan-Lin Zheng.