Vitamin D status in Irish infants
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Vitamin D is essential for good bone health particularly during infancy, a time of rapid growth. Given Irelands northerly latitude, Irish children are at risk of suboptimal vitamin D levels.The aim of our study was to describe the vitamin D status of a group of Irish infants and identify factors predictive of vitamin D status. A cross sectional study was undertaken over a 12 month period in a single paediatric tertiary referral centre in Dublin. Fifty four healthy term infants (<1 year of age) attending a single hospital for minor medical or surgical procedures were recruited. All patients had measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and a bone profile. A questionnaire detailing vitamin D intake from diet, vitamin D supplementation and sun exposure was completed on behalf of each participant. The mean (SD) for serum 25OHD was 80.8 (34.4) nmol/L and almost 80% of infants had 25OHD levels >50 nmol/L. Lower serum 25OHD levels were seen in the following: breastfed infants, infants with formula consumption of <500ml per day, darker skin and no vitamin D supplementation. In our study, most infants have 25OHD levels in the range for optimal skeletal development, above 50 nmol/L, but important risk factors for suboptimal serum 25OHD levels have been identified and will aid in identifying those infants most at risk.
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