Associations of maternal and fetal 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with childhood eczema: The Generation R Study

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Abstract

Background:

Exposure to low levels of vitamin D in fetal life might affect the developing immune system, and subsequently the risk of childhood eczema. We examined whether 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in mid-gestation and at birth were associated with the risk of eczema until the age of 4 years.

Methods:

In a population-based prospective cohort study of 3019 mothers and their children, maternal blood samples in mid-gestation and umbilical cord blood samples at birth were used to determine 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (severely deficient <25.0 nmol/l, deficient 25.0–49.9 nmol/l, sufficient 50.0–74.9 nmol/l, optimal ≥75.0 nmol/l). Eczema was prospectively assessed by annual questionnaires until the age of 4 years. Eczema patterns included never, early (age ≤1 year only), late (age >1 year only), and persistent eczema (age ≤ and >1 year). Data were assessed using the generalized estimating equations and multinomial regression models.

Results:

Compared with the optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D group, sufficient, deficient, and severely deficient groups of 25-hydroxyvitamin D level in mid-gestation were not associated with the risk of overall eczema (odds ratios [95% confidence interval]: 1.09 [0.82, 1.43], 1.04 [0.87, 1.25], and 0.94 [0.81, 1.10], p-values for trend >0.05), nor with eczema per year or eczema patterns in children up to the age of 4 years. Similarly, we observed no associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D groups at birth with any eczema outcome.

Conclusion:

Our results suggest that levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in mid-gestation and at birth are not associated with the risk of overall eczema, eczema per year, or eczema patterns among children until the age of 4 years.

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