Children with persistently low plasma vitamin D levels at birth and in early childhood have an increased risk of elevated systolic blood pressure (BP) later in childhood, research has suggested (1 July 2019)
Publishing their findings in Hypertension, researchers used data from a prospective birth cohort study on 775 children enrolled between 2005 and 2012 with vitamin D levels measured at birth and in early childhood. Systolic BP was derived from the most recently recorded clinical visit.
Children born with low vitamin D status (<11 nanogram/mL) were 38% more likely to have an elevated systolic BP when aged 3–18 years (median 10.7 years) compared with those with sufficient vitamin D levels.
Persistent low vitamin D status from birth to early childhood (<25 nanogram/mL) was associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of an elevated systolic BP in those aged 3–18 years.
The researchers said that the findings were important to public health, given the extent of vitamin D deficiency worldwide.
“Our work underscores that the perinatal and early childhood periods are critical windows for nutritional interventions aimed at preventing the development of hypertension in late life,” they concluded.