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High neonatal vitamin D levels may contribute to increased childhood epilepsy risk

27 May 2020

High rather than low levels of neonatal 25(OH)D3 pose an increased risk of incident epilepsy in early childhood, a finding that may be attributed to chance, confounding, or late gestational vitamin D exposure, according to a study.

The analysis included 403 children who developed epilepsy and 1,163 randomly selected controls. The overall mean neonatal 25(OH)D3 was 29.1 nmol/L and higher in the epilepsy cohort (mean, 30.8 vs 28.5 nmol/L).

Compared with controls, children who developed childhood epilepsy were more likely to have lower birth weight and length, be born via Caesarean section, have parents who had a basic education, and have mothers with epilepsy.

Epilepsy risk had a dose-response association with neonatal 25(OH)D3 concentration. With the lowest 25(OH)D3 quintile (0–12.6 nmol/L) as reference, the hazard ratios (HRs) for epilepsy were 1.13 in quintile 2 (12.6–20.5 nmol/L), 1.22 in quintile 3 (20.6–29.9 nmol/L), 1.49 in quintile 4 (29.9–44.1 nmol/L), and 1.66 in the highest quintile (44.1–111.1 nmol/L; ptrend=0.004).

Results persisted after controlling for season of birth in the analysis, where a significantly higher epilepsy risk was observed among children in the two highest vs the lowest quintiles (Q4: HR, 1.62, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.07–2.47 and Q5: HR, 1.86, 95 percent CI, 1.21–2.86).

Given that the adjustment for season of birth strengthened the results, the researchers pointed out that maternal intake of vitamin D, and not vitamin D from sun exposure, might be the source associated with epilepsy.

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Most Read Articles
20 Jun 2020
The Lundbeck Neuroscience Symposium was held at Sofitel KL Damansara over 2 days, with extensivediscussions on the management of various mental illnesses. The second day of the symposiumaddressed the topic of schizophrenia management, focusing on treatment goals, the rationale forpartial dopamine D(2) receptor agonism and the use of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics topromote adherence.
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Pearl Toh, 2 days ago
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27 May 2020
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