No association between vitamin D levels around time of birth and later risk of developing oligo- and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a Danish case-cohort study.Scand J Rheumatol. 2017 Mar; 46(2):104-111.SJ
Basic and epidemiological studies on rheumatic autoimmune diseases have suggested an association between vitamin D levels around time of birth and disease risk. The literature on vitamin D and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is scarce. We hypothesized that low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] around time of birth would be associated with increased risk of oligo- or polyarticular JIA.
We conducted a case-cohort study of validated cases diagnosed with oligo- and polyarticular JIA (1993-2012) and controls matched on date of birth. Cases and controls were born in the period 1983-2010. Cases were diagnosed using international criteria. The concentration of 25(OH)D was assessed from neonatal dried blood spot (DBS) samples using high-sensitivity liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using conditional logistic regression and a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for season and birth year 25(OH)D variations. A total of 300 matched pairs were included in the statistical analyses.
No significant association was found between levels of 25(OH)D and JIA risk in the adjusted model [OR (per 25 nmol/L increase) 1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-1.6, p = 0.2]. 25(OH)D levels were found to fluctuate significantly with season (p < 0.0001) and year (p < 0.0001). The median level of 25(OH)D was 34.4 nmol/L in cases and 31.5 nmol/L in controls.
Our study does not support the hypothesis that a window of vulnerability exists around time of birth with regard to 25(OH)D levels and later JIA risk. Further studies should explore whether 25(OH)D levels during early pregnancy or infancy may influence JIA risk.