Prevalence of risk of deficiency and inadequacy of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in US children: NHANES 2003-2006

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May;27(5-6):461-6. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0246.


Aim: To assess prevalence and population estimates of increased risk of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] deficiency and inadequacy in US children based on the current Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Dietary References Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium guidelines.

Methods: The analysis was limited to a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized US children and adolescents aged 6-18 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey completed in 2003-2006 and had complete data on 25(OH)D measurements (n=2877). The 25(OH)D levels were adjusted for assay drift and prevalence, and population estimates of increased risk of 25(OH)D deficiency (<12 ng/mL), risk of inadequacy (<16 ng/mL), and adequacy (>20 ng/mL) were calculated.

Results: Overall, 4.61% of children and adolescents are at increased risk of deficiency (population estimate 2.5 million) and 10.3% are at risk of inadequacy (population estimate 5.5 million) based on the Institute of Medicine guidelines.

Conclusion: Approximately 10.3% of US children aged 6-18 years (population estimate 5.5 million) have 25(OH)D levels <16 ng/mL.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Population
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D