Hypovitaminosis d and hypocalcemic seizures in infancy

Indian Pediatr. 2010 Jul;47(7):581-6. doi: 10.1007/s13312-010-0131-1. Epub 2009 Oct 14.


Background: Hypocalcemia accounts for a majority of seizures in infants reporting to the emergency ward of our hospital.

Objective: To evaluate the role of Vitamin D deficiency in the etiology of hypocalcemic seizures in infancy.

Design and setting: Cross sectional hospital based study, from April 2006-March 2007.

Subjects: 60 infants with hypocalcemic seizures and their mothers (study group) and 60 healthy breastfed infants with their lactating mothers (control group).

Measurements: Vitamin D [25(OH) D] and intact para-thormone levels.

Results: High prevalence of hypovitaminosis D [25(OH)D levels <10 ng/mL] was observed in study mothers (85%), control mothers (50%), study infants (90%), and control infants (41.7%). Mean serum 25(OH) D values in study mothers and their infants (6.54 +/- 5.32 ng/mL and 4.92 +/- 4.62 ng/mL) were significantly lower than those of mother-infant pairs (9.06 +/- 4.78 ng/mL and 9.03 +/- 4.63 ng/mL) in the control group (P<0.001). A strong positive correlation of 25(OH) D levels between mothers and their infants was seen in both the study and control populations (P<0.001). Of the 54 study infants who had 25(OH)D levels <10 ng/mL, 48 (89%) were born to mothers who also had 25(OH) D levels <10 ng/mL.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is a major cause of hypocalcemic seizures in infants. Infants born to vitamin D deficient mothers are at a significantly higher risk to develop hypocalcemic seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • Calcium / blood
  • Calcium / deficiency*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Seizures / etiology*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency* / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency* / physiopathology


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium