Vitamin D deficiency for children living in Quito Ecuador

Posted on October 23, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador, Latin America Health – Background: Vitamin D deficiency is a global public health problem. Vitamin D levels in Andean Ecuador have been assumed to be sufficient given its equatorial high altitude, which is conducive to cutaneous production of vitamin D3. However, there is a dearth of data on 25(OH)D status in children in Andean Latin America. Objective: To determine the vitamin D status of children ages 6-36 months residing in Quito, Ecuador who were categorized into normal, mildly, or clearly underweight, based on weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ). Design: This study was conducted among a sub-sample of subjects participating in a 2×2 factorial randomized controlled trial of Vitamin A and Zinc Prevention of Pneumonia (VAZPOP); 2400 children residing in 5 neighborhoods of northwestern Quito, received 48 weeks of supplementation with vitamin A, zinc, or both. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as a serum 25(OH)D concentration of 20-29 ng/mL and deficiency as < 20 ng/mL. Serum 25(OH)D levels were assayed using an automated immunoassay system (Immunodiagnostics Systems). Results: Of the 526 children studied, 183 (35%) were vitamin D deficient and 235 (45%) were insufficient, while only 108 (20%) had adequate serum levels (>29 ng/mL). Older children (蠅12 months) were less likely to be vitamin D sufficient than infants (<12 months) (OR=0.58, 95% CI:0.33 -0.89). Mildly and clearly underweight children were less likely to have sufficient 25(OH)D levels compared with normal weight children (OR=0.50, 95% CI:0.31 -0.89) and (OR=0.51, 95% CI:0.33 -0.80), respectively. Socio-economic status indicators were not significant determinants of 25(OH)D status. Conclusions: Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were common (80%) in Ecuadorian children despite residence at equatorial high altitude. Pediatric supplementation with vitamin D and/or food fortification is warranted. Further studies are needed to ascertain other determinants of vitamin D deficiency in this region. Read Article

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