Recent trends and clinical features of childhood vitamin D deficiency presenting to a children's hospital in Glasgow

Arch Dis Child. 2011 Jul;96(7):694-6. doi: 10.1136/adc.2009.173195. Epub 2010 Jun 28.


Background: The incidence of vitamin D deficiency is unclear in the context of continuing demographic changes and the introduction of new public health measures.

Methods: All cases in which vitamin D deficiency was suspected as the primary cause of the clinical presentation were studied.

Results: Between 2002 and 2008, 160 cases of symptomatic vitamin D deficiency were identified with twice as many cases in 2008 (n, 42) as in the previous years. The median age of the cohort was 24 months (range 2 weeks-14 years).Three cases were recorded in children of European background, whereas the rest were in children of South Asian, Middle Eastern or sub-Saharan ethnic background. Presenting features included bowed legs in 64 (40%) and a fit in 19 (12%). In one infant, concerns were raised following a presentation with cardiac failure and hypocalcaemia.

Summary: Symptomatic vitamin D deficiency remains prevalent in the West of Scotland. There is a need for effective public health education, action and surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rickets / diagnostic imaging
  • Rickets / epidemiology
  • Rickets / etiology
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / ethnology*