The subjects of this study were children aged 6-60 months living in villages in the Ulas Health Region, Sivas. The villages were divided into two groups according to the amount of strontium in the soil: region 1, > 350 ppm, 650 children; region 2, < 350 ppm, 1596 children. Overall, the prevalence of one or more clinical signs of rickets was 22.9%. The prevalence in region 1 was 31.5% and that in region 2, 19.5%. These values were significantly different (p < 0.001). When other variables which may be relevant to the occurrence of rickets were taken into account, the difference in prevalence persisted. The results suggest that in villages where nutrition is mainly based on grain cereals the presence of strontium in the soil will increase the prevalence of rickets significantly. As a preventive measure, a greater proportion of the foods given to children in these villages should be derived from animal origin, and cereals and drinking water supplies should be obtained from villages with a low soil strontium content, or calcium supplements should be given.
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