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Vitamin D status of newborns in New Zealand

  • Carlos A. Camargo (a1) (a2), Tristram Ingham (a3), Kristin Wickens (a3), Ravi I. Thadhani (a2), Karen M. Silvers (a4), Michael J. Epton (a4), G. Ian Town (a5), Janice A. Espinola (a1), Julian Crane (a3) and the New Zealand Asthma and Allergy Cohort Study Group...

Abstract

Recognition of the important non-skeletal health effects of vitamin D has focused attention on the vitamin D status of individuals across the lifespan. To examine the vitamin D status of newborns, we measured serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in the cord blood of 929 apparently healthy newborns in a population-based study in New Zealand, a country at 41°S latitude, with strong anti-skin cancer (sun avoidance) campaigns and without vitamin D food fortification. Randomly selected midwives in two regions recruited children. The median cord blood level of 25(OH)D was 44 nmol/l (interquartile range, 29–78 nmol/l). Overall, 19 % of newborns had 25(OH)D levels < 25 nmol/l and 57 % had levels < 50 nmol/l; only 27 % had levels of 75 nmol/l or higher, which are levels associated with optimal health in older children and adults. A multivariable ordinal logistic regression model showed that the strongest determinants of low vitamin D status were winter month of birth and non-European ethnicity. Other determinants of low cord blood 25(OH)D included longer gestational age, younger maternal age and a parental history of asthma. In summary, low levels of vitamin D are common among apparently healthy New Zealand newborns, and are independently associated with several easily identified factors. Although the optimal timing and dosage of vitamin D supplementation require further study, our findings may assist future efforts to correct low levels of 25(OH)D among New Zealand mothers and their newborn children.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Dr Carlos A. Camargo, fax +1 617 724 4050, email ccamargo@partners.org

References

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Keywords

Vitamin D status of newborns in New Zealand

  • Carlos A. Camargo (a1) (a2), Tristram Ingham (a3), Kristin Wickens (a3), Ravi I. Thadhani (a2), Karen M. Silvers (a4), Michael J. Epton (a4), G. Ian Town (a5), Janice A. Espinola (a1), Julian Crane (a3) and the New Zealand Asthma and Allergy Cohort Study Group...

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