Autism spectrum disorder(ASD) is a range ofneurodevelopmental disorderscharacterized by problems in social communication and social interaction, delayed speech and language skills, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior or interests. In addition to genetic risk factors, many antenatal and perinatal risk factors associated with ASD include maternal gestational diabetes, bleeding after first trimester and so on. Mechanism research showed that neuroinflammation is also closely related to the onset of ASD. Previous studies showed that low level of Vitamin D might be a risk factor for ASD. However,relatively little is known about the prevalence of ASDs in our country. It is necessary to study the relationship between vitamin D status and ASDs in the Chinese children.
Figure 1. The 25(OH)D3 level in different groups. (A) The median 25(OH)D3 level was significantly lower in children with ASDs as compared to controls (17.6 nmol/L [IQR, 12.4 to 27.4 nmol/L] versus 40.2 nmol/L [IQR, 27.7 to 48.8 nmol/L]; Z=11.967, p<0.0001). (B) The median 25(OH)D3 level was significantly lower in children who had an ID as compared with those who did not have an ID (17.3 nmol/L [IQR, 12.6 to 25.9 nmol/L] versus 40.5 nmol/L [IQR, 27.8 to 49.0 nmol/L]; Z=12.986, p<0.0001). ASD: autism spectrum disorder; 25(OH)D3: 25 hydroxyvitamin D3.
In our study, we first reported that the prevalenceof childhood autism in children aged 3 years in Beijing, China, was 1.11% (boys:1.65%; girls: 0.52%). In addition, we also found that neonatal vitamin D statuswas significantly associated with the risk of ASDs and ID in China children(Figure 1). There is now clear evidence that vitamin D, a neurosteroid, isinvolved in brain development. Vitamin D might also reduce the risk or severityof autism through its anti-inflammatory actions and anti-autoimmune effects.Therefore, vitamin D deficiency might play a part in the etiology of autism.However, whether neonates with vitamin D deficiency should be supplemented withvitamin D3, in order to maintain their 25(OH)D3 concentrations optimally toprevent ASDs requires further long-term controlled clinical trials. Referred to‘Relationship Between Neonatal Vitamin D at Birth and Risk of Autism SpectrumDisorders: the NBSIB Study’, published in the《Journal of Bone and Mineral Research》