Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1495–1504

Maternal Vitamin D Levels and the Autism Phenotype Among Offspring

  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
  • Barbara J. Holt
  • Michael Serralha
  • Patrick G. Holt
  • Prue H. Hart
  • Merci M. H. Kusel
Original Paper

Abstract

We tested whether maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy is related to the autism phenotype. Serum 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations of 929 women were measured at 18 weeks’ pregnancy. The mothers of the three children with a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder had 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations above the population mean. The offspring of 406 women completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient in early adulthood. Maternal 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations were unrelated to offspring scores on the majority of scales. However, offspring of mothers with low 25(OH)-vitamin D concentrations (<49 nmol/L) were at increased risk for ‘high’ scores (≥2SD above mean) on the Attention Switching subscale (odds ratio: 5.46, 95 % confidence interval: 1.29, 23.05). The involvement of maternal vitamin D during pregnancy in autism requires continued investigation.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Autistic-like traits Vitamin D Prenatal Pregnancy Environment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barbara J. Holt
    • 1
  • Michael Serralha
    • 1
  • Patrick G. Holt
    • 1
  • Prue H. Hart
    • 1
  • Merci M. H. Kusel
    • 1
  1. 1.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchUniversity of Western AustraliaWest PerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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