Most patients with vitamin D deficiency were found to have a history of fragile bones that exposed them to the risk of osteopororis, according to a new study, conducted by US physicians.
The bone disease not only affected adults, but also children. Vitamin D insufficiency may also contribute to low bone mass or even aggravate underlying metabolic bone disease. Vitamin D is essential in bone growth and mineralisation in children and adults. A mild deficiency causes rickets in children and can be overcome with increased amount of nutritional vitamin D intake as well as sun exposure.
There is need to check vitamin D levels in all patients with history of multiple fractures or low bone density and treat the vitamin D problem if the levels are low. The supplementation of vitamin D should be a priority in the management of paediatric patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia in order to optimise their bone health and potentially prevent fractures.
Potential factors that may account for vitamin D insufficiency in various chronic medical conditions include low vitamin D intake and decreased sun exposure. Four studies in Europe found that 80 per cent of healthy children and adolescents had insufficient vitamin D levels in the winter.
The study has been published in the latest issue of the journal Paediatrics.