The association of maternal vitamin D status with infant birth outcomes, postnatal growth and adiposity in the first 2 years of life in a multi-ethnic Asian population: the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort study

Br J Nutr. 2016 Aug;116(4):621-31. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516000623. Epub 2016 Jun 24.


Maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy has been associated with infant birth and postnatal growth outcomes, but reported findings have been inconsistent, especially in relation to postnatal growth and adiposity outcomes. In a mother-offspring cohort in Singapore, maternal plasma vitamin D was measured between 26 and 28 weeks of gestation, and anthropometric measurements were obtained from singleton offspring during the first 2 years of life with 3-month follow-up intervals to examine birth, growth and adiposity outcomes. Associations were analysed using multivariable linear regression. Of a total of 910 mothers, 13·2 % were vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/l) and 26·5 % were insufficient (50-75 nmol/l). After adjustment for potential confounders and multiple testing, no statistically significant associations were observed between maternal vitamin D status and any of the birth outcomes - small for gestational age (OR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·56, 1·79) and pre-term birth (OR 1·16; 95 % CI 0·64, 2·11) - growth outcomes - weight-for-age z-scores, length-for-age z-scores, circumferences of the head, abdomen and mid-arm at birth or postnatally - and adiposity outcomes - BMI, and skinfold thickness (triceps, biceps and subscapular) at birth or postnatally. Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy did not influence infant birth outcomes, postnatal growth and adiposity outcomes in this cohort, perhaps due to the low prevalence (1·6 % of the cohort) of severe maternal vitamin D deficiency (defined as of <30·0 nmol/l) in our population.

Keywords: 25(OH)D 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Adiposity outcomes; BMIZ BMI-for-age z-scores; Birth outcomes; Growth outcomes; Infant anthropometric measures; LAZ length-for-age z-scores; Maternal vitamin D; Pregnancy; SGA small for gestational age; WAZ weight-for-age z-scores.

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Anthropometry
  • Asian People
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / blood
  • Infant Nutrition Disorders / etiology*
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / growth & development
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age / growth & development
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications / ethnology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second / blood*
  • Premature Birth / etiology
  • Singapore
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*


  • Vitamin D