Osteoporosis International

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 3407–3414 | Cite as

Maternal vitamin D and offspring trabecular bone score

  • N. K. HydeEmail author
  • S. L. Brennan-Olsen
  • J. D. Wark
  • S. M. Hosking
  • K. L. Holloway
  • J. A. Pasco
Original Article



No studies have explored the relationship with maternal vitamin D (25(OH)D) in pregnancy and offspring trabecular bone score (TBS). Our data suggest that maternal 25(OH)D in early pregnancy, but not late, may be associated with offspring TBS in boys. These data act as hypothesis-generating findings for confirmation in larger, longer-term studies.


Trabecular bone score (TBS), a novel tool derived from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), reflects the microarchitecture of the vertebrae. It has been shown to predict fracture independent of standard DXA parameters in adult populations. Previously, we demonstrated that maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) during pregnancy is associated with offspring bone mineral content at age 11 years. However, associations with TBS have not been explored, thus we aimed to determine associations between maternal 25(OH)D and offspring TBS.


Data were collected from the Vitamin D in Pregnancy (VIP) study. Venous blood samples were taken at recruitment and at 28–32 weeks’ gestation. Maternal 25(OH)D was measured by radioimmunoassay. Offspring (n = 195, n = 181 with complete measures) underwent spine DXA (GE Lunar), at age 11 years (median = 10.9 (IQR 10.9–11.4)). TBS was calculated using TBS iNsight software.


Offspring of mothers with sufficient 25(OH)D levels (≥50 nmol/L) at recruitment had a higher TBS (1.363 vs. 1.340, p = 0.04). In multivariable linear regression models, after adjustment for child relative lean mass, sex and pubertal stage, a 10 nmol/L increase in maternal 25(OH)D was associated with a 0.005 (95% CI 0.000, 0.010, p = 0.04) increase in TBS. However when stratified by sex (p for interaction = 0.16), the association was significant in boys, but not girls. There were no associations with TBS and maternal 25(OH)D at 28–32 weeks.


We speculate that maternal 25(OH)D in early pregnancy may be associated with TBS in offspring at age 11 in boys. These hypothesis-generating findings warrant confirmation with larger interventional and long-term follow-up studies.


Maternal Offspring Pregnancy Trabecular bone score Vitamin D 



The authors wish to thank the participants for their ongoing participation in the Vitamin D in Pregnancy Study. Further thanks are extended to the study personnel, both past and present. The initial phases of VIP were funded by a project grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia. The Bupa Foundation provided funding for the 11-year follow-up. N.K.H. is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award, S.L.B.-O. is supported by a Career Development Fellowship from the NHMRC (1107510) and K.L.H. is supported by an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

N.K.H., S.M.H. and K.L.H. declare no conflict of interest. S.L.B.-O. has received speaker fees from Amgen. J.D.W. has received funding from the Bupa Foundation and in-kind support from Swisse Wellness for an unrelated study. J.A.P. has received funding from the Bupa Foundation, Osteoporosis Australia/Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, the Geelong Community Grants program and the NHMRC for unrelated projects.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. K. Hyde
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. L. Brennan-Olsen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. D. Wark
    • 4
  • S. M. Hosking
    • 1
  • K. L. Holloway
    • 1
  • J. A. Pasco
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Epi-Centre for Healthy Ageing, IMPACT SRC, School of MedicineDeakin University (Barwon Health)GeelongAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Health and AgeingAustralian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal ScienceThe University of MelbourneSt AlbansAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Bone and Mineral Medicine, Royal Melbourne HospitalThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  5. 5.Melbourne Medical School—Western CampusThe University of MelbourneSt AlbansAustralia

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