According to new research preventing Vitamin D deficiencies in women who are pregnant may be important for insuring their child’s normal development.
Over 7000 mother child pairs were studied in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children a cohort study. All pairs were accessed for Vitamin D status (serum total 25(OH)D) levels during pregnancy (for the mother) and at least one measure of child neurodevelopment: Pre-school development at six to 42 months; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores at age 7; IQ (Intelligence Quotient) at age 8; Reading Ability at age 9. Additional tests assessing the child’s coordination, balancing, jumping, kicking a ball, building brick towers, were performed.
Researchers reported that the children of Vitamin D deficient mothers were more likely to have test scores in the lowest group (the bottom 25%) for pre-school developments tests (gross and fine motor development) when compared to the children of Vitamin D sufficient mothers. Prenatal Vitamin D insufficiencies were also found to affect the social development of the children at ages 3 and ½. No associations between maternal Vitamin D status and other outcomes at older ages like IQ or reading abilities were seen.
Researchers concluded that preventing Vitamin D deficiencies in pregnancy may be important to prevent below average development in the first four years of a child’s life.
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