Seasonal Variation in Solar Ultra Violet Radiation and Early Mortality in Extremely Preterm Infants

Academic Article


  • Background Vitamin D production during pregnancy promotes fetal lung development, a major determinant of infant survival after preterm birth. Because Vitamin D synthesis in humans is regulated by solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, we hypothesized that seasonal variation in solar UVB doses during fetal development would be associated with variation in neonatal mortality rates. Methods This cohort study included infants born alive with gestational age (GA) between 23 and 28 weeks gestation admitted to a neonatal unit between 1996 and 2010. Three infant cohort groups were defined according to increasing intensities of solar UVB doses at 17 and 22 weeks gestation. The primary outcome was death during the first 28 days after birth. Results Outcome data of 2,319 infants were analyzed. Mean birth weight was 830 ± 230 g and median gestational age was 26 weeks. Mortality rates were significantly different across groups (p = 0.04). High-intensity solar UVB doses were associated with lower mortality when compared with normal intensity solar UVB doses (hazard ratio: 0.70; 95% confidence interval: 0.54-0.91; p = 0.01). Conclusion High-intensity solar UVB doses during fetal development seem to be associated with risk reduction of early mortality in preterm infants. Prospective studies are needed to validate these preliminary findings.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Salas AA; Smith KA; Rodgers MD; Phillips V; Ambalavanan N
  • Start Page

  • 1273
  • End Page

  • 1276
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 13