Low levels of vitamin D at birth may increase your child's risk of high blood pressure late in life, according to a new study published in the journal Hypertension.
Obesity and low levels of physical activity are also two big reasons children develop high blood pressure. While our bodies can produce vitamin D, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight and other sources is also beneficial. "People who spend less time in the sun are more likely to have low vitamin D,” Audrey Koltun, a registered dietitian nutritionist in the department of pediatric endocrinology at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY, told a news portal.
For the study, the researchers monitored 775 children from the time they were born until they were 18-years-old. They also checked their medical records over this period of time. They discovered
44 per cent of the participants had low levels of vitamin D when they were born and 23 per cent of the group has levels of vitamin D in early childhood. The team found those who had less than vitamin D had a 60 per cent chance of developing high blood pressure.
The study highlights the need to treat vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women, as well as young children at risk of developing the disease. "Currently, there are no recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to screen all pregnant women and young children for vitamin D levels,” stated the study’s lead author, Dr Guoying Wang. Adding, "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."
Experts urge pregnant women to make sure their vitamin D levels are in order, so they can prevent this issue. Consuming foods like vitamin D or giving the baby vitamin D supplements in some cases may significantly improve their health. Children will high blood pressure are more likely to suffer from the condition later on in life, which increases their risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.