An assessment of risk factors for insufficient levels of vitamin D during early infancy

Keith T. S. TUNG, Rosa Sze Man WONG, Hing Wai TSANG, Bianca N. K. CHAN, Siew Yan WONG, Hung-Kwan SO, Joanna Y. L. TUNG, Marco H. K. HO, Wilfred H. S. WONG, Patrick IP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent evidence suggests that breastfeeding may increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency in offspring. However, it is unclear whether increased risk results from breastfeeding alone, or whether it is associated together with other risk factors. This study surveyed 208 infant–mother dyads recruited by stratified random sampling in different districts of Hong Kong. Mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire on their demographics, history of risk behavior, and feeding practices. Peripheral blood samples were collected from infants to determine their vitamin D status. Among all infant participants, 70 were vitamin D insufficient or deficient. Being breastfed, being a girl, having a multiparous mother, and the use of sun cream were found to be the strongest risk factors for vitamin D insufficiency during infancy (all p < 0.05), after mutual adjustment. The cumulative risk model displayed a dose–response pattern between the number of risk factors and the risk of vitamin D insufficiency during this period. Our findings indicate the risk profile of infants with insufficient vitamin D. Guidelines and recommendations on healthy diet and lifestyle should be provided to mothers during the early stage of pregnancy to increase the likelihood of adequate levels of vitamin D in their offspring. Copyright © 2021 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1068
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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