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Less than half of health providers recommend 600 to 1000 IU of vitamin D (age 1-18) – May 2018

Vitamin D Prescribing Practices in Primary Care Pediatrics: Underpinnings From the Health Belief Model and Use of Web-Based Delphi Technique for Instrument Validity

Journal of Pediatric Health Care, online 24 May 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2018.03.003
Nancy J. DelGiudice, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC, , Nancy Street, ScD, PPCNP-BC, Ronald J. Torchia, BS CE, MS EE, Susan S. Sawyer, PhD, RN, CPNP, Sylvia Allison Bernard, DNP, RN,

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is a pandemic problem in children and adolescents in the United States. The problem may be aggravated by the inconsistent implementation of current clinical practice guidelines for vitamin D management by pediatric primary care providers. This study examines the relationship between primary care providers' prescribing vitamin D to children ages 1 through 18 years and their practice actions and knowledge. A descriptive correlation design was used. Participants were recruited from a purposive sample of pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners through an online invitation to participate in a survey. Reliability and validity was established for the survey developed by the principal investigator using a web-based Delphi technique.

Results from this study indicate that although most providers are aware that vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are problems, fewer than half currently recommend 600- to 1,000-IU supplementation to their patients ages 1 through 18 years.

Infant-Child category starts with

Having a good level of vitamin D cuts in half the amount of:

Need even more IUs of vitamin D to get a good level if;

  • Have little vitamin D: premie, twin, mother did not get much sun access
  • Get little vitamin D: dark skin, little access to sun
  • Vitamin D is consumed faster than normal due to sickness
  • Older (need at least 100 IU/kilogram, far more if obese)
  • Not get any vitamin D from formula (breast fed) or (fortified) milk
    Note – formula does not even provide 400 IU of vitamin D daily

Infants-Children need Vitamin D

  • Sun is great – well known for 1,000’s of years.
    US govt (1934) even said infants should be out in the sun
  • One country recommended 2,000 IU daily for decades – with no known problems
  • As with adults, infants and children can have loading doses and rarely need tests
  • Daily dose appears to be best, but monthly seems OK
  • Vitamin D is typically given to infants in the form of drops
       big difference in taste between brands
       can also use water-soluable form of vitamin D in milk, food, juice,
  • Infants have evolved to get a big boost of vitamin D immediately after birth
    Colostrum has 3X more vitamin D than breast milk - provided the mother has any vitamin D to spare
  • 100 IU per kg of infant July 2011, Poland etc.
    1000 IU per 25 lbs.jpg
    More than 100 IU/kg is probably better

Heavier than Children (adults)

Why are doctors reluctant to accept vitamin D has the following

#Myth: Excess vitamin D will turn the human body into marble

+Until recently medical students were told that > 2,000 IU of vitamin D could cause toxicity and Calcifications +It is difficult to unlearn something. +See Myth for 50 years: 2000 IU of vitamin D is toxic - still taught as fact in 2010
  1. Would require ignoring the position of the medical profession on supplements.
    Medical societies first supported, then reversed themselves on the need for supplements
    Doctors got burned by first telling patients to take supplement X and then later having the patients stop taking supplement X
    Doctors are reluctant to endure yet another supplement reversal
  2. Risk being sued if exceed guidelines
    Increase risk of being sued for Malpractice if exceeds current medical guidelines
    Example: prescribe 6,000 IU of vitamin D during pregnancy instead of the 400 IU in most guidelines
  3. Experts do not agree on how much is needed
    There is a worldwide agreement that 400 IU of vitamin D is needed to prevent Rickets, but little else is agreed upon
    (Raised to 600 IU in the US in 2010, most countries are still at 400 IU, and some are still at 200 IU)
    Some improvement: 4,000 IU of Vitamin D is OK - 19 organizations agree - 2018
  4. Doctors are rarely been trained in nutrition
    When I went to medical school, nutrition was not really on the radar,
        and taking vitamins was even trivialized by some as a great way to “make expensive urine.”
    Vitamin D is arguably the most complex supplement - the amount needed varies with:
       Weight, Skin color, Latitude, Season, Co-factors, Current meal, Recent surgery/trauma, Neighborhood, etc.
        see also Why isn’t nutrition a bigger part of conventional medical school education? The question at Research Gate 2013 with > 400 responses
  5. Medical training has an emphasis on treatment, not prevention
    Medical training and practice emphasizes treatment, not prevention.
    The primary benefit of vitamin D is prevention. (but Vitamin D does treat 70+ diseases) but typically need >5,000 IU
    They have learned that most patients are either reluctant to change so as to prevent a future problem (lose weight, stop smoking, . . )
    or will often not continue with the change. So why should the doctor try?
  6. Doctors have tried prescribing small vitamin D doses recommended by govts., but with minimal success
  7. Doctors often can only prescribe D2 anyway (true in US before March, 2012)
    Kaiser Health research continues to only use Vitamin D2 (2019)
    Some doctors are aware that D2 does not help nearly as much as D3
    And, in some cases, Vitamin D2 actually lowers levels of D3
  8. Doctors have too little time to read outside of their specialty
  9. Seems like too much of a “wonder drug”
    ‘Nothing can be that great’
  10. Fear possible loss of income
    If Vitamin D is truly a ‘wonder drug’, it would reduce the number of patient visits, and therefore reduce income.
    Note: in 2012 one doctor reduced patient visits from 4 per year to 1 per year by getting all 2,000+ patients to have >80 ng     Net result of vitamin D: Lost too much business and retired early.
  11. Might fear loss of control and respect if people can deal with some of their own health problems

See also VitaminDWiki

Hospitals do not want to lose income

Insurance companies would also lose income if medical costs were reduced since their income is a % of the billing

Created by admin. Last Modification: Friday May 25, 2018 10:55:46 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 4)