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What diseases are causally linked to vitamin D deficiency?
  1. Ian R Reid1,2
  1. 1University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ian R Reid, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, 1142 New Zealand; i.reid{at}


The classical clinical consequence of vitamin D deficiency is osteomalacia, presenting as rickets in children. This remains a common problem in parts of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, and occurs when serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are <25 nmol/L. Osteomalacia remains the only problem that is unequivocally a consequence of vitamin D deficiency. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are observed in a wide range of conditions, but consistent trial evidence of amelioration of these conditions with vitamin D is lacking. Monotherapy with vitamin D has not been found to be effective in meta-analyses of trials assessing its effects on bone density, fractures or falls. At present, supplements should be advised for individuals at risk of having serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in the 25–40 nmol/L range, or below, with a view to prevention of osteomalacia.

  • Bone Disease
  • Bone Metabolism

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