Maternal vitamin D deficiency and the risk of autism spectrum disorders: population-based study

Cecilia Magnusson, Michael Lundberg, Brian K Lee, Dheeraj Rai, Håkan Karlsson, Renee Gardner, Kyriaki Kosidou, Stefan Arver, Christina Dalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Maternal vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but direct evidence is lacking.

AIMS: To clarify the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency and offspring risk of ASD with and without intellectual disability.

METHOD: Using a register-based total population study (N=509 639), we calculated adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of ASD with and without intellectual disability in relation to lifetime diagnoses of maternal vitamin D deficiency. Although rare, such deficiency was associated with offspring risk of ASD with, but not without, intellectual disability (aORs 2.51, 95% CI 1.22-5.16 and 1.28, 0.68-2.42). Relationships were stronger in non-immigrant children.

CONCLUSIONS: If reflecting associations for prenatal hypovitaminosis, these findings imply gestational vitamin D substitution as a means of ASD prevention.


COPYRIGHT AND USAGE: © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-172
Number of pages3
JournalBJPsych Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Journal Article


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