Vitamin D in infants with cystic fibrosis diagnosed by newborn screening

J Paediatr Child Health. Jan-Feb 2009;45(1-2):36-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2008.01432.x.


Aims: Screening enables early nutritional deficiencies to be detected in those with cystic fibrosis (CF). Although vitamin deficiency is considered unlikely in older subjects with normal vitamin E levels, few studies have determined vitamin D status at diagnosis and its relationship to other fat-soluble vitamins.

Methods: We reviewed vitamin levels in infants diagnosed with CF by newborn screening over a 5-year period in Melbourne, Australia. Vitamin D levels were determined using the IDS gamma-B 25-OH Vitamin D radio-immunoassay (Immunodiagnostic Systems Limited, Boldon, UK). Vitamins A and E were evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography. We assessed the association between vitamin D level and sex, month of birth, pancreatic status, and vitamin A and E levels.

Results: Fifty-eight infants were diagnosed at a median age of 1 month (range: 0-3 months). Initial vitamin D levels were assessed between 0.2 and 3.5 months in 30 (vitamin D) and 45 (vitamins A and E) infants. The number of infants deficient with vitamins D, E and A were 11 (37%), 7 (16%) and 27 (60%), respectively. Vitamin D levels were unrelated to sex, vitamin A or E levels, month of birth or pancreatic status, whereas vitamin A and E levels were significantly lower in those who were pancreatic insufficient. With supplementation, vitamin D increased over time.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is common in infants newly diagnosed with CF by newborn screening and is unrelated to pancreatic status or predicted low vitamin E levels. Vitamin D deficiency is less common over time following treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neonatal Screening / methods*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Vitamin A / analysis
  • Vitamin A / metabolism
  • Vitamin D / analysis
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Vitamin E / analysis
  • Vitamin E / metabolism


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E