Antenatal exposure to solar radiation and learning disabilities: Population cohort study of 422,512 children

Hastie, C. E., Mackay, D. F. , Clemens, T. L., Cherrie, M. P. C., King, A., Dibben, C. and Pell, J. P. (2019) Antenatal exposure to solar radiation and learning disabilities: Population cohort study of 422,512 children. Scientific Reports, 9, 9356. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-45562-9) (PMID:31249320)

Hastie, C. E., Mackay, D. F. , Clemens, T. L., Cherrie, M. P. C., King, A., Dibben, C. and Pell, J. P. (2019) Antenatal exposure to solar radiation and learning disabilities: Population cohort study of 422,512 children. Scientific Reports, 9, 9356. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-45562-9) (PMID:31249320)

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Abstract

Learning disability varies by month of conception. The underlying mechanism is unknown but vitamin D, necessary for normal brain development, is commonly deficient over winter in high latitude countries due to insufficient ultraviolet radiation. We linked the 2007–2016 Scottish School Pupil Censuses to Scottish maternity records and to sunshine hours and antenatal ultraviolet A/B radiation exposure derived from weather stations and satellites respectively. Logistic regression analyses were used to explore the associations between solar radiation, then ultraviolet B, and learning disabilities, adjusting for the potential confounding effects of month of conception and sex. Of the 422,512 eligible, singleton schoolchildren born at term in Scotland, 79,616 (18.8%) had a learning disability. Total antenatal sunshine hours (highest quintile; adjusted OR 0.89; 95% CI: 0.86, 0.93; p < 0.001) and ultraviolet B exposure (highest quintile; adjusted OR 0.55; 95% CI: 0.51, 0.60; p < 0.001) were inversely associated with learning disabilities with evidence of a dose-relationship. The latter association was independent of ultraviolet A exposure. Significant associations were demonstrated for exposure in all three trimesters. Low maternal exposure to ultraviolet B radiation may play a role in the seasonal patterning of learning disabilities. Further studies are required to corroborate findings and determine the effectiveness of supplements.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:C.E.H. was funded by the Paterson Bequest Fund, University of Glasgow. Provision of the UV data was funded by a joint NERC, MRC and CSO project grant (Ref NE/P010911/1) and HDR-UK funding (Ref Edin1).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hastie, Dr Claire and Mackay, Professor Daniel and Pell, Professor Jill
Authors: Hastie, C. E., Mackay, D. F., Clemens, T. L., Cherrie, M. P. C., King, A., Dibben, C., and Pell, J. P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 9:9356
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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