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Maternal Vitamin D Levels Tied to Infant Respiratory Health

Higher levels linked to lower risk of respiratory infection, wheezing but not asthma

TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with higher cord-blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) appear to have a lower risk for respiratory infection and wheezing, but 25(OH)D levels do not appear to have an association with asthma, according to research published online Dec. 27 in Pediatrics.

Carlos A. Camargo Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues tested cord blood from 922 newborns for 25(OH)D and followed up the infants at 3 and 15 months of age and annually to examine the association between cord levels of vitamin D and risk for respiratory infection, wheezing, and asthma.

The researchers found higher levels of 25(OH)D associated with lower risk for respiratory infection at 3 months, and with wheezing at 15 months, 3 years, and 5 years of age. There was no association, however, between 25(OH)D levels and incidence of asthma by 5 years of age.

"Our observational data support the initiation of randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and early childhood to better define the effect of vitamin D on childhood respiratory health," the authors conclude.

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