Magic: Moms' exposure to air pollution reduces vitamin D levels in newborns

“Maternal exposure to urban levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter less than 10 micro meters during the whole pregnancy was a strong predictor of low vitamin D status in newborns.” Too stupid for words — serum vitamin D more reasonably depends on diet, supplementation and/or level of sunlight exposure. [Abstract]

7 thoughts on “Magic: Moms' exposure to air pollution reduces vitamin D levels in newborns”

  1. This is not a report of a scientific study. This is a fishing expedition. The telltale is the presence of the words “may” and “could” in the *conclusions*. Nothing has been concluded. Only the loosest and most tenuous possible association has been made between two variables.
    The bait being cast here is the scare of harm to unborn children (although that does not seem to make much sense in a ‘post-modern culture’ that considers abortion a ‘right’ worth encouraging).
    The quarry is grant money.

  2. I have to agree with Ben on this one. We’ve seen these types of “corelations” before: “x” causes diabetes, obesity, etc.
    Where poverty is the actual input variable and the malady is the response.
    Of course, Poverty is just a proxy for a plethora of exposures, behaviors and more. The exact set of which may be different for different people. Confounding, isn’t it.

  3. I’m not sure about poverty but you might guess that the high exposure was downwind of internal combustion engine sources. The sounds like a fortuitous random correlation without finding the real cause

  4. NO2 and PM10 exposure is a very good measurement of local pollution (ie: poverty). This independently relates to health very strongly.

  5. You’ll also notice they never actually measured the real concentrations in the mother’s environment, or hours of exposure at each point of exposure. I see nothing on income levels, diet, etc.

    And then there’s the infamous alert signal: “MAY” So it’s just another half baked paper making simplistic connections. Meh.

  6. Did they control for vitamin D enhanced foods like milk? or for time in the sun? I’d like to see a real statistician/tester take this thing apart and write a paper on it.

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