Low level of Vitamin D at birth is linked to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) at the age of three.
Senior author Dr Yuan-Lin Zheng said neonatal Vitamin D status was significantly associated with the risk of ASDs and intellectual disability.
Researchers analysed 27,940 newborns in China, where 310 were diagnosed with ASDs at three years of age, with a prevalence of 1.11 per cent.
When the 310 children with ASDs were compared with 1,240 control participants, the risk of ASDs was significantly increased in each of the three lower quartiles of Vitamin D level at birth, when compared with the highest quartile - an increased risk of ASDs by 260 per cent in the lowest quartile, 150 per cent in the second quartile, and 90 per cent in the third quartile.
The research appears in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.