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Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency May Up MS Risk in Offspring

Maternal vitamin D deficiency in early pregnancy linked to nearly two-fold increased MS risk


TUESDAY, March 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) deficiency in early pregnancy is associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in offspring, according to a study published online March 7 in JAMA Neurology.

Kassandra L. Munger, Sc.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective, nested case-control study involving 193 individuals with a diagnosis of MS whose mothers are in the Finnish Maternity Cohort. One hundred seventy-six cases were matched with 326 controls to examine the correlation between serum 25(OH)D in early pregnancy and the risk of MS.

The researchers found that the mean maternal vitamin D levels were in the range of vitamin D insufficiency, and were higher in maternal controls versus cases (15.02 versus 13.86 ng/mL). The risk of MS in offspring was increased nearly two-fold with maternal vitamin D deficiency in early pregnancy compared to women without vitamin D deficiency (relative risk, 1.90; P = 0.006). The risk of MS was not significantly associated with increasing serum 25(OH)D levels (P = 0.12).

"Correcting maternal vitamin D deficiency in early pregnancy may have a beneficial effect on risk of MS in the offspring," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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