Children with nutritional rickets referred to hospitals in Copenhagen during a 10-year period

Acta Paediatr. 2003;92(1):87-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2003.tb00475.x.


Aim: To describe the prevalence of nutritional rickets among children admitted to three large paediatric departments in the Copenhagen area during a 10 y period.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of cases identified from the diagnosis registers fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for nutritional rickets.

Results: Forty cases were identified, distributed in two distinct age groups: 0.5-4 y (n = 31) and 9-15 y (n = 9). All cases were immigrants, of whom 95% were born in Denmark. The main symptoms in the younger age group were bowed legs and clumsy walk, and in the peripubertal group were painful joints. Two children had generalized convulsions. None of the cases had received vitamin D supplementation.

Conclusion: Nutritional rickets is still present among immigrants in Denmark, and it is likely that the prevalence of mild cases is high. Prevention through vitamin D supplementation is important, but requires a dedicated health education effort.

MeSH terms

  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications*
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rickets* / drug therapy
  • Rickets* / etiology
  • Rickets* / rehabilitation
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamin D