Background: Vitamin D deficiency has been found to occur in peoples of all ages worldwide, including those living in sunny climates. Sun exposure is the main source of this vitamin for many people but its utilization is influenced by many factors such as lifestyles and availability of sunlight. The breastfeeding infant is particularly at increased risk of deficiency because of its dependence on maternal stores.
Objective and hypotheses: The hypothesis for this study was that vitamin D deficiency is uncommon in the breast feeding infants under the age of 6 months. The study objectives were to find the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and associated risk factors in breastfeeding infants under the age of 6 months attending the immunization and growth monitoring clinic.
Method: It was a cross-sectional study with an analytical component. Questionnaires and physical exams were used to obtain information on neonatal events and feeding practices in infants and mothers, and examinations for any signs of vitamin D deficiency respectively. Serum samples were taken to determine the levels of 25 hydroxy vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase.
Results: A total of 154 children aged between 6 weeks and 6 months were enrolled into the study. Nineteen were excluded from the final analysis because of incomplete data. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/dl) in this study was 83.7% (113/135). Elevated alkaline phosphatase levels were found to be significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency. None of the other factors were found to be associated with hypovitaminosis.
Conclusion: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) was 83.7% in this study. Alkaline phosphatase was significantly associated with hypovitaminosis.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology