Adolescent rickets in Saudi Arabia: a rich and sunny country

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jul-Aug;15(7):1017-25. doi: 10.1515/jpem.2002.15.7.1017.


In this retrospective study from Saudi Arabia, which is a rich and sunny country, we report our experience with 34 adolescents (20 females, 10 males) with rickets. The commonest cause was vitamin D deficiency (58.8%) followed by rickets due to low calcium intake (11.8%) and genetic causes, including possible 25-hydroxylase deficiency (8.8%). The etiology of nutritional rickets is multifactorial, including lack of sun exposure and inadequate calcium intake. The clinical symptoms were nonspecific and therefore cases in this country are either underdiagnosed or missed. Vitamin D deficient patients needed an average of 19 months of treatment before recovery. High dose vitamin D plus calcium supplementation are recommended for treatment. Measures to prevent rickets in all age groups including adolescents are suggested. Further studies on nutritional and genetic forms of rickets are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase
  • Clothing / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / complications
  • Hypophosphatemia / complications
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rickets / etiology*
  • Rickets / genetics
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / deficiency
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • CYP27A1 protein, human
  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase