Maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D and its association with childhood atopic outcomes and lung function

Clin Exp Allergy. 2013 Oct;43(10):1180-8. doi: 10.1111/cea.12172.


Background: It has been suggested that maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy influences the risk of asthma and atopy in the offspring. The epidemiological evidence to support these claims is conflicting and may reflect chance findings and differences in how vitamin D was assessed.

Objective: To examine the association between blood total maternal 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in pregnancy and offspring asthma, atopy and lung function in the largest birth cohort study to date.

Methods: Participants were largely of white European origin and resident in the South West of England. We examined the associations of maternal 25(OH)D concentrations in pregnancy with the following outcomes in the offspring: wheeze, asthma, atopy, eczema, hayfever, at mean age 7.5 years (n = 3652-4696 depending on outcome), IgE at 7 years (n = 2915) and lung function and bronchial responsiveness at mean age 8.7 years (n = 3728-3784).

Results: Sixty-eight per cent of mothers had sufficient (> 50 nmol/L) concentrations of 25(OH)D, 27% were insufficient (27.5-49.99 nmol/L) and 5% were deficient (< 27.5 nmol/L). There was no evidence to suggest that maternal 25(OH)D concentration in pregnancy was associated with any respiratory or atopic outcome in the offspring. These findings remained after adjustment for season of measurement and for potential confounders. There was also no evidence that these relationships followed a non-linear form and no evidence that either deficient or high concentrations of maternal 25(OH)D were associated with atopic or respiratory outcomes.

Conclusions: We found no evidence that maternal blood 25(OH)D concentration in pregnancy is associated with childhood atopic or respiratory outcomes.

Keywords: 25(OH)D; asthma; atopy; mother-offspring; vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / epidemiology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / etiology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / physiopathology
  • Maternal Exposure*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN68645785