Background: Low concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D during pregnancy may be associated with offspring autoimmune disorders. Little is known about environmental triggers except gluten for celiac disease, a common immune-mediated disorder where seasonality of birth has been reported as a risk factor. We therefore aimed to test whether low maternal and neonatal 25-hydroxyvitamin D predicted higher risk of childhood celiac disease.
Methods and findings: In this Norwegian nationwide pregnancy cohort (n = 113,053) and nested case-control study, we analyzed 25-hydroxyvitamin D in maternal blood from mid-pregnancy, postpartum and cord plasma of 416 children who developed celiac disease and 570 randomly selected controls. Mothers and children were genotyped for established celiac disease and vitamin D metabolism variants. We used mixed linear regression models and logistic regression to study associations. There was no significant difference in average 25-hydroxyvitamin D between cases and controls (63.1 and 62.1 nmol/l, respectively, p = 0.28), and no significant linear trend (adjusted odds ratio per 10 nM increase 1.05, 95% CI: 0.93-1.17). Results were similar when analyzing the mid-pregnancy, postpartum or cord plasma separately. Genetic variants for vitamin D deficiency were not associated with celiac disease (odds ratio per risk allele of the child, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.10, odds ratio per risk allele of the mother 0.94; 95% CI 0.85 to 1.04). Vitamin D intake in pregnancy or by the child in early life did not predict later celiac disease. Adjustment for established genetic risk markers for celiac disease gave similar results.
Conclusions: We found no support for the hypothesis that maternal or neonatal vitamin D status is related to the risk of childhood celiac disease.