Urban air pollution increases risk of vitamin D deficiency in infants, finds study.
According to study authors, this could affect the child's risk of developing diseases later in life.
Recent data has demonstrated that maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may have an influence on the development of asthma and allergic diseases in offspring.
A number of factors may influence vitamin D supply in women. Exposure to high levels of air pollution has been suggested as a contributor to vitamin D deficiency in adults and children.
"We investigated the associations between gestational exposure to urban air pollutants and vitamin D cord blood serum level," Nour Baiz, the study leader from the Intitut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) in Paris, France, said.
"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," Baiz said.
In this study, researchers investigated the associations between gestational exposure to urban air pollutants 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 association between gestational exposure to air pollutants and vitamin D deficiency in newborns was strongest for third-trimester exposures.
The study has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).