[Plasma vitamin D levels in native and immigrant children under the age of 6 years of different ethnic origins]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2015 May;82(5):316-24. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2014.05.007. Epub 2014 Jul 22.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Nutritional rickets is an emergent disease in Spain, and occurs particularly in black and dark-skinned infants and children from immigrant populations. The aim of this work was to ascertain the vitamin D reserve in a population of native and immigrant children under the age of 6 years.

Population and methods: A prospective study was conducted at a Primary Healthcare Centre in Salt (Girona).

Patients: 307 children with the following origin and race distribution: Caucasian (n=85; 28%), Sub-Saharan (n=101; 32.5%); Maghrebí (n=87, 28.0%); Central-American (n=20; 6.4%) and Indo-Pakistani (n=14; 4.5%). The biochemistry blood parameters studied were: calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, 25-hydroxivitamin D, and parathormone. A nutritional survey was used to estimate calcium and vitamin D intake and degree of sun exposure.

Results: Vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) was detected in Caucasians (8%), Sub-Saharans (18%), Central-Americans (20%), Maghrebís (34.5%), and Indo-Pakistanis (64%). Of the children studied (n=9), 2.9% had serious vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng/ml); only one child of Sub-Saharan origin met the biochemical criteria for classical rickets. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in children not receiving vitamin D supplements in the first year of life.

Conclusions: Plasma vitamin D concentrations were deficient in 22.5% of children under the age of six, being more prevalent in children of Indo-Pakistani and Maghrebí origin.

Keywords: Child population; Déficit de vitamina D; Immigration; Infancia; Inmigración; Raquitismo carencial; Rickets; Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency; Vitamina D.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Vitamin D