About Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

Home > Learn About Multiple Sclerosis > News > Study: Elevated MS risk related to vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy

Study: Elevated MS risk related to vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy


A new study suggests that children of mothers with vitamin D deficiency during early pregnancy appeared to be at greater risk for multiple sclerosis in adulthood.

Kassandra L. Munger, Sc.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, and her team examined whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels in early pregnancy were associated with the risk of MS in children. The authors identified 193 individuals (163 females) with a diagnosis of MS whose mothers were part of the Finnish Maternity Cohort and matched 176 case patients with 326 control participants for comparison. Seventy percent of maternal blood samples to measure 25(OH)D levels had been collected during the first trimester and the average maternal vitamin D levels were in the insufficient vitamin D range.

They found that the risk of MS as an adult was 90 percent higher in children of mothers who were vitamin-D deficient compared with the children of mothers who were not vitamin D deficient. The authors said that correcting maternal vitamin D deficiency in early pregnancy may have a beneficial effect on risk of MS in the offspring.

The study was published online by JAMA Neurology.

  Support the MSF
Supporting MSF's programs to help make "a brighter tomorrow" has never been easier.
make a donation 

  Learn About MS
Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, tremors and depression.
learn more 


Unless otherwise specified, all medical content is compiled by MSF staff and reviewed for accuracy by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.

The MSF strives to present clear and unbiased information. This site is partially funded through a grant from Bayer Healthcare, LLC.

© Copyright 2000-2013 Multiple Sclerosis Foundation - All Rights Reserved