Objective: Postnatal vitamin D supplementation is standard of care in neonates and preterm infants. Despite routine supplementation of vitamin D, a wide range of complications related to vitamin D deficiency has been described in the literature. Since standard vitamin D supplementation might be not sufficient in preterm infants with a genetic predisposition for vitamin D deficiency, we investigated the outcome of preterm infants with regard to their genetic estimated vitamin D levels.
Methods: Preterm infants with a birth weight below 1500 grams were included in the German Neonatal Network at the time of their birth and tested at the age of five. The vitamin D level was genetically calculated based on three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs: rs12794714, rs7944926 and rs2282679) which alter vitamin D synthesis pathways. Specific alleles of these polymorphisms are validated markers for low plasma vitamin D levels. Outcome data were based on baseline data at the time of birth, typical complications of prematurity, body measurements at the age of five and occurrence of bone fractures. T-test and Fisher's exact test were used for statistical comparison.
Results: According to their genetic predisposition, 1,924 preterm infants were divided into groups of low (gsVitD < 20. Percentile), intermediate and high vitamin D level estimates. Low genetic vitamin D level estimates could not be shown to be associated with any adverse outcome measures examined. The analyses covered data on aforementioned determinants.
Conclusion: Low genetic vitamin D level estimates could not be shown to be associated with previously described adverse outcome in preterm infants.