MONDAY, July 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Low vitamin D status and trajectory in early life are associated with increased risk of elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) during childhood, according to a study published online July 1 in Hypertension.

Guoying Wang, M.D., Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues examined the effect of vitamin D trajectory through early life on SBP in childhood. Data were included for 775 children enrolled in a prospective birth cohort study from 2005 to 2012 and followed prospectively up to age 18 years.

The researchers found that compared to those with sufficient vitamin D, low vitamin D status at birth correlated with increased risk of elevated SBP at ages 3 to 18 years (odds ratio, 1.38). The risk of elevated SBP at age 6 to 18 years was increased with low vitamin D status in early childhood (odds ratio, 1.59). There was a correlation for persistent low vitamin D status from birth to early childhood with higher risk of elevated SBP at ages 3 to 18 years (odds ratio, 2.04).

“Our findings raise the possibility that screening and treatment of vitamin D deficiency with supplementation during pregnancy and early childhood might be an effective approach to reduce high blood pressure later in life,” Wang said in a statement.

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