Vitamin a deficiency and sleep disturbances related to autism symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder: a cross-sectional study.

Publication date: Jul 03, 2021

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and sleep disturbances have been reported in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The influence of vitamin A (VA) levels on sleep regulation and sleep disturbances in ASD has garnered concern. The present study aimed to characterize the association of VA levels with sleep disturbances in children with ASD. This cross-sectional study compared children with ASD (n = 856) to typically developing children (TDC; n = 316). We used the Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire to assess sleep disturbances, Childhood Autism Rating Scale to evaluate the severity of autism symptoms, and Autism Behavior Checklist and Social Responsiveness Scale to assess autism behaviors. Serum VA levels were estimated using high-performance liquid chromatography. Multivariable linear regression and two-way analysis of variance were performed to investigate if VAD was related to sleep disturbances in children with ASD. Children with ASD had lower serum VA levels and a higher prevalence of sleep disturbances than TDC did. The incidence of VAD in ASD children with sleep disturbances was higher, and the symptoms more severe than those without sleep disturbances and TDC. Interestingly, the interaction between VAD and sleep disturbances was associated with the severity of autism symptoms. VAD and sleep disturbances are associated with the core symptoms of ASD in children. Regular monitoring of sleep and VA levels may be beneficial for children with ASD. Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, registration number: ChiCTR-ROC-14005442 , registration date: December 9th 2014.

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Concepts Keywords
Autism Causes of autism
Chinese Sleep disorder
Sleep Learning disabilities
Therapy Neurological disorders
Pervasive developmental disorders
Abnormal psychology
Psychiatric diagnosis
Branches of biology


Type Source Name
disease MESH Vitamin a deficiency
disease MESH sleep
disease MESH autism
disease MESH autism spectrum disorder
drug DRUGBANK Vitamin A
drug DRUGBANK Saquinavir

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