Maternal Vitamin D Status and Infant Infection
Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 111; doi:10.3390/nu10020111 . online 23 Jan. 2018
Sara Moukarzel 1,2,* , Marlies Ozias 3, Elizabeth Kerling 4, Danielle Christifano 5, Jo Wick 6, John Colombo 7 and Susan Carlson 4
- African-American infants had more skin infections at 6 months – Jan 2018
- Black infants far less likely to be breast-fed (wonder – culture or low Vitamin D) – Aug 2017
- Vitamin D needed to get children to just 20 ng in winter 800 IU white skin, 1100 IU dark (Sweden) – RCT June 2017
- Many US kids have less than 40 ng of Vitamin D – 99 out of 100 blacks, 91 out of 100 whites – Jan 2017
- Small for gestational age with low vitamin D – 3.6X higher for blacks than whites – April 2016
- Dark skinned children were vitamin D deficient in Italy (not infants) – Nov 2014
- Breastfed Infants in Iowa got very little vitamin D, especially if winter or dark skin – July 2013
- Black infants had far lower vitamin D levels which did not vary with season – Jan 2013
- 83 percent of children had less than 20 ng of vitamin D – 15 ng avg for hispanic – Aug 2012
- Rickets in 30 percent of infants in India who had low vitamin D – March 2011
- Dark Skinned babies probably need vitamin D to prevent nutritional rickets - 2001
Maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy may modulate fetal immune system development and infant susceptibility to infections. Vitamin D deficiency is common during pregnancy, particularly among African American (AA) women. Our objective was to compare maternal vitamin D status (plasma 25(OH)D concentration) during pregnancy and first-year infections in the offspring of African American (AA) and non-AA women. We used medical records to record frequency and type of infections during the first year of life of 220 term infants (69 AA, 151 non-AA) whose mothers participated in the Kansas University DHA Outcomes Study. AA and non-AA groups were compared for maternal 25(OH)D by Mann–Whitney U-test. Compared to non-AA women, AA women were more likely to be vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/L; 84 vs. 37%, p < 0.001), and more of their infants had at least one infection in the first 6 months (78.3% and 59.6% of infants, respectively, p = 0.022). We next explored the relationship between maternal plasma 25(OH)D concentration and infant infections using Spearman correlations.
Maternal 25(OH)D concentration was inversely correlated with the number of all infections (p = 0.033), eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) infections (p = 0.043), and skin infection (p = 0.021) in the first 6 months. A model that included maternal education, income, and 25(OH)D identified maternal education as the only significant predictor of infection risk in the first 6 months (p = 0.045); however, maternal education, income, and 25(OH)D were all significantly lower in AA women compared to non-AA women . The high degree of correlation between these variables does not allow determination of which factor is driving the risk of infection; however, the one that is most easily remediated is vitamin D status. It would be of value to learn if vitamin D supplementation in this at-risk group could ameliorate at least part of the increased infection risk.