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Exposure to Air Pollution Tied to Low Vitamin D in Newborns

Last Updated: September 14, 2012.

Exposure to two urban pollutants during pregnancy correlates with a decrease in the blood serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in newborns, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to two urban pollutants during pregnancy correlates with a decrease in the blood serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) of newborns, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Nour Baïz, from the Unité Mixte de Recherche-S707 in Paris, and colleagues examined the correlation between gestational exposure to urban air pollutants and 25(OH)D cord blood serum levels in 375 mother-child pairs. The concentration of particulate matter less than 10 µm in diameter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at the mother's home address during pregnancy was assessed using data from the Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling System.

The researchers found that maternal exposure to PM10 and NO2 during the whole pregnancy was strongly predictive of low vitamin D status among newborns. After adjustment, for a 10-µg/m³ increase in NO2 levels there was a 0.15 U decrease in log-transformed 25(OH)D (P = 0.05); a 10-µg/m³ increase in PM10 levels correlated with a 0.41 U decrease (P = 0.04). The correlations were strongest for exposure in the third trimester (P = 0.0003 for NO2 and P = 0.004 for PM10).

"Although the biological relevance of this finding is not entirely clear, the main observation is that, for the first time at the general population level, exposure to major ambient air pollutants during pregnancy has been associated with a statistically significant reduction of cord blood serum levels of 25(OH)D," the authors write.

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