According to a new study, gestational exposure to ambient urban air pollution, especially late in term, possibly contributes to lower vitamin D levels in children. The study’s authors say that the deficiency could affect the child’s risk of developing disease later in life.
The study, accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), shows that maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy might have an influence on the development of asthma and other allergic diseases in young offspring. Though a number of factors could have an effect on vitamin D supply in women, exposure to high levels of air pollution is suggested by the authors as a prime factor in vitamin D deficiency in adults and children, reports Medical News Today.
“We investigated the associations between gestational exposure to urban air pollutants and vitamin D cord blood serum level,” said Nour Baïz, MASc, of Intitut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in Paris, France who led the study. “Our findings show for the first time, that exposure to ambient air pollution comparable to current World Health Organization standards might contribute to vitamin D deficiency in newborns.”
For the study, researchers looked at the associations between gestational exposure to urban air pollution and 25-hydroxyvitamin D cord blood serum level in 375 mother-child pairs. Maternal exposure to urban levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter less than 10 micro meters during the whole pregnancy was a strong predictor of low vitamin D status in newborns.
The study’s authors found that the association between gestational exposure to air pollutants and vitamin D deficiency in newborns was the strongest in late-term pregnancies.