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Low vitamin D in children

Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) and treatment recommendations for correcting the deficiency are found inadequate.

Low vitamin D in children

Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) and treatment recommendations for correcting the deficiency are found inadequate. CF is a genetic disorder marked by the body's inability to transport chloride in and out of cells, causing mild to life-threatening complications, including recurrent and severe lung infections and delayed growth. Growing children with CF are especially vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency because a hallmark of the disorder is poor absorption of nutrients and malnutrition. Researchers from Baltimore studied the health charts of 262 children with cystic fibrosis to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, to elucidate contributing factors for vitamin D deficiency and determine the efficacy of repletion strategies. The children of 5 years of age or older were recommended 50, 000 international units (IU) of ergocalciferol (a from of vitamin D) once per week for 8 weeks and 12, 000 IU once per week for 8 weeks for children younger than 5 years of age. It was found that the children who were given 50, 000 IU of ergocalciferol for 8 weeks was effective in only 33 percent of the children with vitamin D deficiency, while increasing the dose to twice a week was effective in only 26 percent of children. Delivering the same dose 3 times a week corrected the deficiency in just 43 percent of children. The vitamin D deficiency prevalence fallen from 86 percent to 46 percent; but it was still high and children who were 5 years of age or older were more likely to have deficiency than patients younger than 5 years of age. The researchers concluded that vitamin D deficiency in children with cystic fibrosis remained deficient, despite getting the restorative doses of vitamin D equal to or higher than the recommendations. More effective ways to restore healthy vitamin levels are required.
The Journal of Pediatrics
October 2008
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