Vitamin D deficiency in mothers of infants with rickets

Med J Aust. 2001 Sep 3;175(5):253-5. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2001.tb143559.x.


Objective: To identify infants treated for vitamin D deficiency rickets, and to determine the incidence of vitamin D deficiency in their mothers and their mothers' country of origin.

Design: A retrospective audit of the medical records of children diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency rickets. Inpatients were identified by discharge diagnoses of vitamin D deficiency or hypocalcaemia and outpatients by pharmacy dispensing of cholecalciferol.

Setting: The Women's and Children's Health Care Network and the Southern Health Care Network (Melbourne, VIC) from June 1994 to February 1999.

Patients: 55 children with vitamin D deficiency rickets.

Results: Fifty-four of the 55 children were born to mothers with ethnocultural risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D status had been assessed in 31 of the 55 mothers (56%): 25 (81%) had 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations < or = 25 nmol/L, consistent with osteomalacia.

Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency continues to occur in children of migrant families. When infants are diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D levels in their mothers and siblings should also be assessed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Mothers*
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rickets / drug therapy
  • Rickets / epidemiology*
  • Rickets / physiopathology
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Cholecalciferol
  • Calcifediol