Vitamin D deficiency prevalent among Saudi children with and without fracture history
Children with a history of bone fractures have significantly lower levels of vitamin D than those without such a history, according to a Saudi study presented at the International Osteoporosis Foundation 2016 in Singapore.
Additionally, even without a history of fracture, vitamin D status correction is needed in the general Saudi paediatric population.
“Our data indicate an association between vitamin D status and bone fractures in Saudi children. Because fracture rates in children are increasing and bone health status in childhood may directly impact adult bone health, opportunities to intervene during childhood should be pursued,” researchers said.
“Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Saudi children with and without fracture, a strong consideration should be given for routine vitamin D testing and correction in the Saudi paediatric population,” they added.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the link between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and fractures in Saudi children. Included were 1,022 children without fracture history (476 boys [aged 14.56 years; BMI 22.38] and 546 girls [age 13.57; BMI 22.24]) and 234 Saudi children with a history of fracture (148 boys [aged 14.25 years; BMI 22.66] and 86 girls (aged 13.76 years; BMI 21.33]).
Researchers collected anthropometric and fasting serum biochemical data, and assessed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level using electrochemiluminescence.
“Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in children with a history of fracture in both boys and girls than those without such a history,” researchers concluded.
Mean circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin (25OH) D level in children with a history of fracture was significantly lower in both boys (p<0.01) and girls (p<0.01) than those without. However, both groups had low mean 25(OH)D levels. Furthermore, age was positively associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D in boys (p<0.05) and negatively in girls (p<0.05) with a history of fracture.
“One explanation for this observation may be conservative social and religious practices imposed on girls and the fact that advancing age in girls are more often covered compared to boys of similar age,” researchers said.
Boys were also more likely to have fracture than girls (148 vs 86). This might be due to higher outdoor activities such as sports in boys compared to girls and to physiological difference in this age group, according to researchers.