Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D₃ and D₂ with academic performance in childhood: findings from a prospective birth cohort
Author: Tolppanen, A.
Sayers, A.
Fraser, W.
Lawlor, D.
Citation: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2012; 66(12):1137-1142
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0143-005X
Statement of
Anna-Maija Tolppanen, Adrian Sayers, William D Fraser, Debbie A Lawlor
Abstract: Background: Higher total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations have been associated with better cognitive function mainly in cross-sectional studies in adults. It is unknown if the associations of different forms of 25(OH)D (25(OH)D₃ and 25(OH)D₂) are similar. Methods: Prospective cohort study (n=3171) with serum 25(OH)D₃ and 25(OH)D₂ concentrations measured at mean age of 9.8 years and academic performance at age 13-14 years (total scores in English, mathematics and science) and 15-16 years (performance in General Certificates of Education examinations). Results: Serum 25(OH)D₃ concentrations were not associated with any educational outcomes. Higher 25(OH)D₂ concentrations were associated with worse performance in English at age 13-14 years (adjusted SD change per doubling in 25(OH)D₂ (95% CI) -0.05 (-0.08 to -0.01)) and with worse academic performance at age 15-16 years (adjusted OR for obtaining ≥5 A*-C grades (95% CI) 0.91 (0.82 to 1.00)). Conclusion: The null findings with 25(OH)D₃ are in line with two previous cross-sectional studies in children. It is possible that the positive association of 25(OH)D with cognitive function seen in adults does not emerge until later in life or that the results from previous cross-sectional adult studies are due to reverse causality. The unexpected inverse association of 25(OH)D₂ with academic performance requires replication in further studies. Taken together, our findings do not support suggestions that children should have controlled exposure to sunlight, or vitamin D supplements, in order to increase academic performance.
Keywords: Children; vitamin D3
Rights: Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and
RMID: 0030042853
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2011-200114
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_104558.pdfPublished version489.31 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.