The association between vitamin D status and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is well-investigated but remains to be elucidated. We quantitatively combined relevant studies to estimate whether vitamin D status was related to ASD in this work. PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library were searched to include eligible studies. A random-effects model was applied to pool overall estimates of vitamin D concentration or odds ratio (OR) for ASD. In total, 34 publications involving 20,580 participants were identified in this present study. Meta-analysis of 24 case–control studies demonstrated that children and adolescents with ASD had significantly lower vitamin D concentration than that of the control group (mean difference (MD): −7.46 ng/mL, 95% confidence interval (CI): −10.26; −4.66 ng/mL, p
< 0.0001, I2
= 98%). Quantitative integration of 10 case–control studies reporting OR revealed that lower vitamin D was associated with higher risk of ASD (OR: 5.23, 95% CI: 3.13; 8.73, p
< 0.0001, I2
= 78.2%). Analysis of 15 case–control studies barring data from previous meta-analysis reached a similar result with that of the meta-analysis of 24 case–control studies (MD: −6.2, 95% CI: −9.62; −2.78, p
= 0.0004, I2
= 96.8%), which confirmed the association. Furthermore, meta-analysis of maternal and neonatal vitamin D showed a trend of decreased early-life vitamin D concentration in the ASD group (MD: −3.15, 95% CI: −6.57; 0.26, p
= 0.07, I2
= 99%). Meta-analysis of prospective studies suggested that children with reduced maternal or neonatal vitamin D had 54% higher likelihood of developing ASD (OR: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.12; 2.10, p
= 0.0071, I2
= 81.2%). These analyses indicated that vitamin D status was related to the risk of ASD. The detection and appropriate intervention of vitamin D deficiency in ASD patients and pregnant and lactating women have clinical and public significance.
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