Prenatal maternal and cord blood vitamin D concentrations and negative affectivity in infancy

Sara Sammallahti, Elisa Holmlund-Suila, Runyu Zou, Saara Valkama, Jenni Rosendahl, Maria Enlund-Cerullo, Helena Hauta-alus, Marius Lahti-Pulkkinen, Hanan El Marroun, Henning Tiemeier, Outi Mäkitie, Sture Andersson, Katri Räikkönen, Kati Heinonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Downloads (Pure)


Higher maternal vitamin D concentration during pregnancy is associated with better child mental health. Negative affectivity, an early-emerging temperamental trait, indicates an increased risk of psychopathology. We investigated if maternal early/mid-pregnancy 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and neonatal cord blood 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with Negative affectivity in infancy. We studied term-born infants from the vitamin D Intervention in Infants study (VIDI, n = 777, follow-up rate 80%, Finland), and the Generation R Study (n = 1505, follow-up rate 40%, Netherlands). We measured maternal serum 25(OH)D at 6–27 weeks (VIDI) or 18–25 weeks (Generation R) of pregnancy, and cord blood 25(OH)D at birth (both cohorts). Caregivers rated infant Negative affectivity at 11.7 months (VIDI) or 6.5 months (Generation R) using the Revised Infant Behavior Questionnaire. Using linear regression, we tested associations between 25(OH)D and Negative affectivity adjusted for infant age, sex, season of 25(OH)D measurement, maternal age, education, smoking, and body-mass-index. Per 10 nmol/l increase in maternal early/mid-pregnancy 25(OH)D, infant Negative affectivity decreased by 0.02 standard deviations (95% confidence interval [CI] − 0.06, − 0.004) in VIDI, and 0.03 standard deviations (95% CI − 0.03, − 0.01) in Generation R. Cord blood 25(OH)D was associated with Negative affectivity in Generation R (− 0.03, 95% CI − 0.05, − 0.01), but not VIDI (0.00, 95% CI − 0.02, 0.02). Lower maternal 25(OH)D concentrations were consistently associated with higher infant Negative affectivity, while associations between cord blood 25(OH)D concentrations and Negative affectivity were less clear. Maternal vitamin D status during early- and mid-pregnancy may be linked with early-emerging differences in offspring behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding The general design of the Generation R Study was supported
by the Netherlands Organization for Scientifc Research (NWO) and the
Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport. The work of the authors
involved in the Generation R Study in this project was supported by
the LEaDing Fellows EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Programme and the Orion Research Foundation (Dr Sammallahti); NWO
Vici Grant 016.VICI.170.200 (Dr Tiemeier); and Stichting Volksbond
Rotterdam, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD
Young Investigator Grant 27853, and the European Union's Horizon
2020 Research and Innovation Program LifeCycle grant No. 733206
(Dr El Marroun). The work of the authors involved in the VIDI study
in this project was supported by the Academy of Finland (Dr Heinonen
[grant n:o 345057]; Dr Outi Mäkitie, and Dr Lahti-Pulkkinen), by the
Sigrid Jusélius Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation (Dr
Outi Mäkitie), by the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation and
the Juho Vainio Foundation (Dr Hauta-alus), by the Victoriastiftelsen,
the Instrumentarium Science Foundation, the Paulo Foundation, and
the Orion Research Foundation (Dr Enlund-Cerullo), and by Grants
from Special Governmental Subsidy to Clinical Research, the Foundation for Pediatric Research in Finland, and Finska Läkaresällskapet
(Dr Andersson). The funding sources had no role in study design, data
collection and analysis, the interpretation or reporting of the results, or
the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'Prenatal maternal and cord blood vitamin D concentrations and negative affectivity in infancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this