Article Text


Recent trends and clinical features of childhood vitamin D deficiency presenting to a children's hospital in Glasgow
  1. S F Ahmed1,
  2. C Franey1,
  3. H McDevitt1,
  4. L Somerville2,
  5. S Butler3,
  6. P Galloway4,5,
  7. L Reynolds6,
  8. M G Shaikh1,
  9. A M Wallace5
  1. 1Bone & Endocrinology Research Group, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Department of Community Paediatrics, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Radiology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK
  4. 4Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK
  5. 5Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK
  6. 6Department of Public Health, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor S F Ahmed, Department of Child Health, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow G62 8NT, UK; s.f.ahmed{at}


Background The incidence of vitamin D deficiency is unclear in the context of continuing demographic changes and the introduction of new public health measures.

Methods All cases in which vitamin D deficiency was suspected as the primary cause of the clinical presentation were studied.

Results Between 2002 and 2008, 160 cases of symptomatic vitamin D deficiency were identified with twice as many cases in 2008 (n, 42) as in the previous years. The median age of the cohort was 24 months (range 2 weeks-14 years).Three cases were recorded in children of European background, whereas the rest were in children of South Asian, Middle Eastern or sub-Saharan ethnic background. Presenting features included bowed legs in 64 (40%) and a fit in 19 (12%). In one infant, concerns were raised following a presentation with cardiac failure and hypocalcaemia.

Summary Symptomatic vitamin D deficiency remains prevalent in the West of Scotland. There is a need for effective public health education, action and surveillance.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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