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The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children in the Northern Territory

Dyson, Amanda, Pizzutto, Susan J., MacLennan, Carolyn, Stone, Monique and Chang, Anne B. (2014). The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children in the Northern Territory. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,50(1):47-50.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID cmartelxPUB98
Title The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children in the Northern Territory
Author Dyson, Amanda
Pizzutto, Susan J.
MacLennan, Carolyn
Stone, Monique
Chang, Anne B.
Journal Name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 50
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1034-4810   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84891842043
Start Page 47
End Page 50
Total Pages 4
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Aims
The primary aim of this study was to determine the frequency of vitD deficiency/insufficiency in an opportunistic sample of Northern Territory (NT) children. The secondary aim was to evaluate whether: (i) 25(OH)vitD (25(OH)D) levels differ between Indigenous/non-Indigenous children; and (ii) VitD insufficiency is associated with increased acute/infective hospitalisations.
Twenty-five (OH)D levels were measured in 98 children <16 years between August 2011 and January 2012 (children hospitalised acutely/non-acutely and well children from other studies based in Darwin). VitD deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L, and insufficiency was postulated to be <75 nmol/L. Demographic data were collected, and computer records were reviewed.
Median age was 59 months (range 2–161); 3.1% were vitD deficient, 19.4% insufficient. There was no significant difference in mean 25(OH)D level between Indigenous (93.2, standard deviation (SD) 21.9, n = 42) and non-Indigenous (97.3, SD 27.9, n = 56) children (P = 0.32). Median number of hospitalisations/year were similar (P = 0.319) between vitD sufficient (0.34, range 0–12, n = 76) and insufficient (0.22, 0–6, n = 22) children. There was no significant difference between number of infective admissions per year between vitD sufficient/insufficient groups (P = 0.119).
Compared with US data (19% deficient, 65% insufficient) fewer NT children are vitD deficient/insufficient. In our limited sample, being vitD insufficient was not associated with increased acute/infective hospitalisations, but a larger unbiased sample of NT children is needed. More information is needed about the optimum level of vitD for non-bone-related health in children.
Keywords Endocrinology
General paediatrics
Infectious diseases
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