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Table 3 Summary of the studies examining associations of maternal vitamin D status with offspring cognitive function

From: Association between maternal nutritional status in pregnancy and offspring cognitive function during childhood and adolescence; a systematic review

Author, Year, Sample size, Age, Country, Study design Nutrient Cognitive function Results after adjustment for confounders QS and RB
20Gale C; 2008
 N = 178
 Age 9 years
 Prospective longitudinal
Serum vitamin D concentrations assessed at 28-42 weeks gestation
21.2 % had <27.5 nmol/L
28.3 % had 27.5-50 nmol/L
Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence
Full-scale, verbal or performance IQ
No association between vitamin D concentrations and offspring IQ (full-scale, verbal or performance)
Confounders adjusted for: Unadjusted
16 Medium
21Whitehouse AJO; 2012
 Age 5 years (n = 534)
 Age 10 years (n = 474)
 Prospective longitudinal
Serum vitamin D concentrations assessed at 18 weeks gestation
25.2 % mothers had insufficiency (≤46 nmol/L)
(lowest quartile)
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Receptive language Children of mothers with vitamin D insufficiency (lowest quartile (≤46 nmol/L) were at increased risk (OR = 1.97) of language impairment compared to children of mothers without insufficiency (highest quartile (≥72 nmol/L; OR = 1.00)
Confounders adjusted for: MA, MS, parity, family income, season of maternal blood sampling
13 Medium
22Morales E; 2012
 N = 1820
 Age 11-23 Months
 Prospective population based
 cohort study
Plasma vitamin D concentrations assessed during 12-23 weeks gestation
19.5 % mothers had deficiency (<20 ng/ml)
31.5 % had insufficiency (20-30 ng/ml)
Bayley Scales of Infant Development (mental (MDI) and psychomotor (PDI) developmental score) A positive linear association between vitamin D concentrations and MDI and PDI
Per 10 ng/ml increase in vitamin D concentrations MDI and PDI score increased by β = 0.79 and β = 0.88 points respectively
Compared to infants of deficient mothers, infants of mothers with normal level scored higher MDI (β = 2.60) and PDI (β = 2.32) points respectively
Confounders adjusted for: The child’s sex, BWT, area of study, maternal country of origin, MA, parity, pre-pregnancy BMI, SES, ME, MS, alcohol and season
15 Medium
  1. QS quality score, RB risk of bias, MA maternal age, BWT birthweight, ME maternal education, MS maternal smoking, BMI body mass index, SES socio-economic status