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Children with Cancer were 3X more likely to be vitamin D deficient – July 2013

Vitamin D Deficiency in Children With Cancer.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2013 Jul 3.
Helou M, Ning Y, Yang S, Irvine P, Bachmann LM, Godder K, Massey G.
Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital of Richmond, Medical College of Virginia †Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University ‡Medical College of Virginia §Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA.

A limited number of small studies have examined the vitamin D status of pediatric oncology patients, and the results indicate an increased prevalence of hypovitaminosis. We conducted a cross-sectional study with the primary aim of describing the vitamin D status of our pediatric cancer patients and any associations with demographic characteristics. Our secondary aim was to compare this prevalence to that of a healthy population. We collected data on children seen in our clinic and determined the overall prevalence of hypovitaminosis. We then compared this prevalence to that of healthy populations described in the literature.

The prevalence of hypovitaminosis in our study population was 72%. Forty-three percent of our patients were considered deficient with 8% being severely deficient. Our analysis revealed a significant association between the outcome and age in that patients 6 years and above were more likely to have hypovitaminosis after adjustment for other characteristics (AOR=3.23; 95% CI, 1.11-9.40). When compared with a healthy pediatric population, our patients had a significantly higher prevalence of hypovitaminosis (P-value=0.003). Vitamin D deficiency is very common in children with cancer, representing a subpopulation of high-risk patients that could benefit most from early detection and supplementation.

PMID: 23823117

See also VitaminDWiki