[Rickets in Asian immigrants during puberty]

An Esp Pediatr. 2002 Sep;57(3):264-7.
[Article in Spanish]


Rickets usually occurs in the first two years of life and in puberty since metabolic demand is increased due to rapid growth in these two critical periods of life, when peak bone mass is achieved. Rickets remains one of the most prevalent pediatric diseases in developing countries. Although it is considered to have disappeared in developed countries, there is increasing evidence of widespread vitamin D deficiency among immigrants. There are many reports on rickets and osteomalacia in Asian infants, adolescents and pregnant women moving from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to developed countries with a cooler climate. We describe three teenagers of Pakistani origin. Clinical presentation included limb pains, muscular weakness, knock-knees and seizures. In all three patients, biochemical findings included hypocalcemia, raised serum parathormone and alkaline phosphatase, and reduced 25-hydroxy vitamin D concentrations. After vitamin D treatment and dietary counseling, biochemical findings returned to normal and their symptoms improved. Given the recent increase in the number of immigrants to Spain, this forgotten disease will probably reappear.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Puberty*
  • Rickets / ethnology*