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Vitamin D deficiency of pregnant women linked to high ADHD risk in children

Published : 11 Feb 2020, 00:15

Updated : 11 Feb 2020, 09:24

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

The risk of ADHD was 34 per cent higher in children whose mothers had a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy than in those children whose mothers’ vitamin D levels were sufficient during the first and second trimesters, according to the findings of a study conducted in Finland.

The result was adjusted for maternal age, socioeconomic status, and psychiatric history, said the report of the study conducted in collaboration between researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, and Columbia University, New York.

“Alongside genotype, prenatal factors such as vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can influence the development of ADHD,” said Minna Sucksdorff from the University of Turku.

The study is the first population-level research to demonstrate an association between low maternal vitamin D level in early to mid-pregnancy and an elevated risk for diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the offspring.

The study included 1,067 children born between 1998 and 1999 diagnosed with ADHD in Finland and the same number of matched controls. The data was collected before the current national recommendation made in Finland for the intake of vitamin D during pregnancy, which is 10 micrograms per day throughout the year.

The primary investigator, Professor Andre Sourander said, “Despite the recommendations, vitamin D deficiency is still a global problem. In Finland, for example, mothers’ vitamin D intake among several immigrant groups is not at a sufficient level.”

“This research offers strong evidence that a low level of vitamin D during pregnancy is related to attention deficiency in the offspring. As ADHD is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, the research results have a great significance for public health,” observed Sourander.