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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 263-269

Vitamin D deficiency in children living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Pediatrics, Cairo University, Egypt.
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Ain Shams University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Maha M. H. K. Mansour
Jeddah Clinic Hospital, Kandarah: Old airport street, P. O. Box 115, Jeddah - 21411, Saudi Arabia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.93746

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Objective: Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic and a common health problem worldwide. This study was conducted to evaluate the vitamin D status in children living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and to study its relation to various variables. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the pediatric clinic in Jeddah Clinic Hospital-Kandarah, Jeddah, KSA, from October through December 2010, in which 510 healthy children aged 4-15 years were enrolled. Serum calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were measured. Dietary vitamin D intake and duration of daily sunlight exposure were determined. 25(OH)D levels <20 ng/mL and <7 ng/mL were defined as relative and severe vitamin D deficiency, respectively. Results: The mean concentration of 25(OH)D was 13.07 ± 7.81 ng/mL. Seventy subjects (13.72%) had normal 25(OH)D level ranging 20-70 ng/mL. Three hundred (58.82%) had relative 25(OH)D deficiency and 140 (27.45%) had severe deficiency (P=0.000). 220 (43.14%) subjects were males and 290 (56.86%) were females having a statistically significant higher incidence of 25(OH)D deficiency (P=0.019). 54.9% were Saudis, 27.45% were Yemenis and 11.76% were Egyptians. Saudis and Yemenis were more subjected to 25(OH)D deficiency in comparison to Egyptians and other nationalities (P=0.01). There were significant inverse correlations between 25(OH)D levels and bony aches (P=0.000). 56.25% of asymptomatic children had vitamin D deficiency (P=0.000). Duration of sunlight exposure and daily intake of vitamin D had significant effects on serum level of vitamin D (P=0.000). Conclusions: A high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children living in Jeddah was observed in this study. Vitamin D supplementation of food products can prevent vitamin D deficiency in these children.

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