Purpose: To explore the prevalence of low vitamin D status among obese adolescents and to examine the effect of current management of low vitamin D status in these patients.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of obese adolescents who had been screened for vitamin D status by serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D level of <20 ng/mL, vitamin D insufficiency as 25(OH)D level of 20-30 ng/mL, and vitamin D sufficiency as 25(OH)D level of >30 ng/mL. Adolescents with vitamin D deficiency were treated with 50,000 IU of vitamin D once a week for 6-8 weeks, whereas adolescents with vitamin D insufficiency were treated with 800 IU of vitamin D daily for 3 months. Repeat 25(OH)D was obtained after treatment.
Results: The prevalence rate of low vitamin D status among 68 obese adolescents (53% females, 47% males, age: 17 ± 1 years, body mass index: 38 ± 1 kg/m(2), Hispanic: 45%, African American: 40%, Caucasian: 15%) was 100% in females and 91% in males. Mean (±SE) 25(OH)D level was significantly higher in summer (20 ± 8 ng/mL) than in spring (14 ± 4 ng/mL, p < .02), and significantly lower in winter (15 ± 7 ng/mL) than in fall (25 ± 15 ng/mL, p < .05). Although there was a significant (p < .00001) increase in mean 25(OH)D after the initial course of treatment with vitamin D, 25(OH)D levels normalized in only 28% of the participants. Repeat courses with the same dosage in the other 72% did not significantly change their low vitamin D status.
Conclusions: Increased surveillance and possibly higher vitamin D doses are warranted for obese adolescents whose total 25(OH)D levels do not normalize after the initial course of treatment.
Copyright © 2011 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.