Vitamin D concentrations from neonatal dried blood spots and the risk of early-onset type 2 diabetes in the Danish D-tect case-cohort study

Diabetologia. 2021 Jul;64(7):1572-1582. doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05450-2. Epub 2021 May 24.


Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to examine the influence of neonatal vitamin D concentration on the development of early-onset type 2 diabetes in a large population sample.

Methods: We conducted a case-cohort study utilising data from the Danish biobank and registers. Neonatal vitamin D was assessed measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] concentrations on the dried blood spot samples from the Biological Specimen Bank for Neonatal Screening. Cases of type 2 diabetes (n = 731) were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Register for all individuals born in Denmark between 1 May 1981 and 31 December 1992. The sub-cohort (n = 1765) was randomly selected from all children born in the same period. We used a weighted Cox proportional hazard model assessing the hazard of first type 2 diabetes diagnoses by quintiles of 25(OH)D3 and restricted cubic spline.

Results: The median 25(OH)D3 concentration (IQR) among cases was 21.3 nmol/l (13.3-34.1) and 23.9 nmol/l (13.7-35.7) in the sub-cohort. There was no indication of a potential lower risk of early-onset type 2 diabetes among individuals in the higher quintile of vitamin D concentration compared with the lowest (HRcrude 0.97 [95% CI 0.71, 1.33] p = 0.85; HRadjusted 1.29 [95% CI 0.92, 1.83] p = 0.14).

Conclusions/interpretation: The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that higher neonatal vitamin D concentrations are associated with a lower risk of early-onset type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Keywords: 25(OH)D; Case-cohort; Fetal programming; Neonatal; Type 2 diabetes; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neonatal Screening* / methods
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / congenital
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D