Prenatal exposure to vitamin D from fortified margarine and risk of fractures in late childhood: period and cohort results from 222 000 subjects in the D-tect observational study.
Händel MN., Frederiksen P., Osmond C., Cooper C., Abrahamsen B., Heitmann BL.
Prenatal low vitamin D may have consequences for bone health. By means of a nationwide mandatory vitamin D fortification programme, we examined the risk of fractures among 10-18-year-old children from proximate birth cohorts born around the date of the termination of the programme. For all subjects born in Denmark during 1983-1988, civil registration numbers were linked to the Danish National Patient Registry for incident and recurrent fractures occurring at ages 10-18 years. Multiplicative Poisson models were used to examine the association between birth cohort and fracture rates. The variation in fracture rates across birth cohorts was analysed by fitting an age-cohort model to the data. We addressed the potential modification of the effect of vitamin D availability by season of birth. The risk of fractures was increased among both girls and boys who were born before the vitamin D fortification terminated in 1985 (rate ratio (RR) exposed v. non-exposed girls: 1·15 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·20); RR exposed v. non-exposed boys: 1·11 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·14). However, these associations no longer persisted after including the period effects. There was no interaction between season of birth and vitamin D availability in relation to fracture risk. The study did not provide evidence that prenatal exposure to extra vitamin D from a mandatory fortification programme of 1·25 µg vitamin D/100 g margarine was sufficient to influence the risk of fractures in late childhood, regardless of season of birth. Replication studies are needed.