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Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Under new guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, the estimated number of children who are at risk for having insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D is drastically reduced from previous estimates, according to a study. The study found that under the new guidelines, 10.3 percent of children ages 6 to 18 are at risk of inadequate or deficient vitamin D levels, which translates to an estimated 5.5 million children.
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Under new guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, the estimated number of children who are at risk of having insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D is drastically reduced from previous estimates, according to a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study.

The study, led by Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, and Ramon Durazo-Arvizu, PhD, is published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism.

New Institute of Medicine guidelines say most people get sufficient vitamin D when their blood levels are at or above 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). The Pediatric Endocrine Society has a similar guideline. However, other guidelines recommend vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL.

Loyola researchers studied vitamin D data from a nationally representative sample of 2,877 U.S. children and adolescents ages 6 to 18 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study found that under the Institute of Medicine guidelines, 10.3 percent of children ages 6 to 18 are at risk of inadequate or deficient vitamin D levels. (This translates to an estimated 5.5 million children.)

By comparison, a 2009 study in the journal Pediatrics, which defined sufficient vitamin D levels as greater than 30 ng/mL, found that an estimated 70 percent of people ages 1 to 21 had deficient or insufficient vitamin D levels.

Under previous guidelines, millions of children who had vitamin D levels between 20 and 30 ng/mL would have needed supplementation. Under the Institute of Medicine guidelines, children in this range no longer need to take vitamin D supplements.

The new study found that children at risk of vitamin D deficiency under the Institute of Medicine guidelines are more likely to be overweight, female, non-white and between the ages of 14 and 18.

The Institute of Medicine's new vitamin D guidelines are based on nearly 1,000 published studies and testimony from scientists and other experts. The IOM found that vitamin D is essential to avoid poor bone health, such as rickets. But there have been conflicting and mixed results in studies on whether vitamin D can also protect against cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and diabetes. Moreover, excessive vitamin D can damage the kidneys and heart, the IOM found.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vytas P. Karalius, Daniel Zinn, James Wu, Guichan Cao, Carla Minutti, Amy Luke, Holly Kramer, Ramon Durazo-Arvizu. Prevalence of risk of deficiency and inadequacy of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in US children: NHANES 2003–2006. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2014; 0 (0) DOI: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0246

Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325113306.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2014, March 25). Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325113306.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325113306.htm (accessed August 28, 2015).

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