Vitamin D levels in childhood have long-term effects on blood pressure
High blood pressure may develop as a possible consequence of vitamin D deficiency in childhood, according to a recent study by American and Chinese researchers. An additional intake of vitamin D during pregnancy and early childhood could also have a preventive effect in this regard, reports the Paediatricians' Association (BVKJ), citing the results of the study.
According to the latest research by Guoying Wang's research team at Boston Hop University at the Bloomsberg School of Public Health, there is an association between vitamin D levels in early childhood and blood pressure in old age. A persistent vitamin D deficiency in early childhood is associated with a doubling of the risk of high systolic blood pressure later in life, the researchers report. The results of his study were published in the journal "Hypertension".
Connection between vitamin D and blood pressure
Vitamin D can be absorbed through the diet in a very limited way. However, it is formed in the body when the skin is in contact with sunlight. In the body, vitamin D has several important functions. For example, it is necessary to use calcium to increase bone. Previous research has also shown that vitamin D deficiency in adults is associated with high blood pressure, reports the research team. Thus far, however, it was not clear whether the state of vitamin D at an early age could affect blood pressure in old age.
775 children examined
Guoying Wang's research team examined the impact of vitamin D levels in the early stages on early systolic blood pressure in the latest study from data from 775 children enrolled in a prospective cohort study at birth of Boston Medical Center have. Up to the age of 18, the participants were regularly examined from the medical point of view. Systolic pressure and vitamin D concentrations in blood plasma were also measured.
Increasing risk with low levels of vitamin D.
The researchers then looked for possible links between low levels of vitamin D (less than 11 ng / ml at birth, less than 25 ng / ml in early childhood) and an increase in systolic blood pressure levels later in life. They were able to show that a low vitamin D status at birth was associated with a 38% increase in the risk of high systolic blood pressure at the age of three to 18 years. Vitamin D deficiency showed only in early childhood, which led to an increase in risk of almost 60%.
Double the risk of persistent vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency already existed at birth and then continued into infancy, doubling the risk of increased systolic blood pressure by the age of three to 18, the researchers report. These results indicate that a low vitamin D status in early childhood is associated with an increased risk of developing systolic hypertension during childhood and adolescence, the research team emphasizes.
New strategies to prevent possible hypertension?
Although a causal relationship has not yet been established, since it was only an observational study. However, the results of the study may help develop strategies for screening and supplementation of vitamin D during pregnancy and childhood to reduce the risk of increased blood pressure over a lifetime, researchers hope.
Vitamin D tablets recommended for children in the first year of life
So far, in Germany, the prescription of vitamin D tablets in breast-fed and non-breastfed infants is recommended from the end of the first week of life until the end of the first year of life, since it is particularly important for bone formation at this time and the development of a shortage threatens rickets, reports the Paediatricians' Association (BVKJ), citing the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ). Prophylaxis can be continued, if necessary, in the second year of life in the winter months.
How can vitamin D deficiency be determined?
According to the BVKJ, a deficiency of existing vitamin D can be determined relatively easily by examining the blood. Such a study is useful, for example, in children with certain chronic diseases (inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic kidney or liver diseases) or when they take medicines that affect the metabolism of calcium or vitamin D. However, a high pigmentation (skin dark) and lack of contact with sunlight are also possible causes of vitamin D deficiency (Fp)
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- Guinea Wang, Xin Liu, Tami R. Bartell, Colleen Pearson, Tina L. Cheng: trajectories of vitamin D from birth to infancy and elevated systolic blood pressure during childhood and adolescence; in Hypertension Vol. 74: 421-430 (August 2019), ahajournals.org
- Professional paediatricians' association (BVKJ): low levels of vitamin D in early childhood probably favor subsequent hypertension (12 August 2018), kinderaerzte-im-netz.de
. (tagsToTranslate) Hypertension (t) Vitamin D (t) deficiency Vitamin D (t) Blood pressure (t) Children