High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in 2-17 year olds presenting with acute fractures in southern Australia

Dae Hwan Kwon, David Krieser, Chris Harris, Abhay Khot, Peter R. Ebeling, Christine P. Rodda

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To determine vitamin D deficiency risk and other lifestyle factors in children aged 2-17 years presenting with an acute fracture to Sunshine Hospital. Methods: A prospective observational study was undertaken using a convenience sample data collected from children aged 2-17 years of age presenting with an acute fracture. Recruitment was undertaken over a 3-month period from February to May 2014. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency (skin pigmentation, hours spent outdoors, sunscreen use and obesity) were identified. Patients providing consent, had measurements of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD). Vitamin D deficiency was defined as <. 50 nmol/L. Results: Of the 163 patients recruited into this study, 134 (82%) had one or more risk factor(s) for vitamin D deficiency. Of these, 109 (81%) consented to 25-OHD testing, with a median of 53 nmol/l (range 14-110 nmol/l) obtained. A total of 57 (52% at risk, 35% of total participants) were found to be vitamin D deficient. 45 (80%) had mild deficiency (30-50 nmol/l) and 11 (20%) had moderate deficiency (12.5-29 nmol/l). Conclusions: One third of all participants, and the majority participants who had one or more risk factor(s) for vitamin D deficiency, were vitamin D deficient. Based on our findings we recommend that vitamin D status be assessed in all children with risk factor of vitamin D deficiency living in urban environments at higher latitudes presenting with fractures. The effect of vitamin D status on fracture risk and fracture healing in children and teenagers is yet to be determined, as do the effects of vitamin D supplementation in vitamin D deficient paediatric patients presenting with acute fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalBone Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Children
  • Fracture
  • Reduced sun exposure
  • Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency
  • Teenagers
  • Vitamin D deficiency

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