Lancet. 2014 May 10;383(9929):1665-1676. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61650-5. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Rickets, historically referred to as "the English disease", is common worldwide. Absence of phosphate at the growth plate and mineralising bone surfaces due to inadequate vitamin D supply either from sunlight exposure or diet is the main cause. Inherited disorders causing hypophosphataemia have shown the intricacies of phosphate metabolism. Present advice about the provision of vitamin D to young infants needs to be clarified; the existing guidance is fragmentary and contradictory, and will not help to eradicate the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hypophosphatemia / complications*
  • Infant
  • Phosphates / deficiency*
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Rickets / etiology*
  • Rickets / physiopathology
  • Rickets / therapy
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*


  • Phosphates
  • Vitamin D