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Recent trends and clinical features of childhood vitamin D deficiency presenting to a children's hospital in Glasgow


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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