Plasma vitamin D levels in native and immigrant children under the age of 6 years of different ethnic origins

J. M. Sánchez Muro, D. Yeste Fernández, A. Marín Muñoz, M. Fernández Cancio, L. Audí Parera, A. Carrascosa Lezcano

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9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Asociación Española de Pediatría. Introduction Nutritional rickets is an emergent disease in Spain, and occurs particularly in black and dark-skinned infants and children from immigrant populations. The aim of this work was to ascertain the vitamin D reserve in a population of native and immigrant children under the age of 6 years. Population and methods A prospective study was conducted at a Primary Healthcare Centre in Salt (Girona). Patients: 307 children with the following origin and race distribution: Caucasian (n = 85; 28%), Sub-Saharan (n = 101; 32.5%); Maghrebí (n = 87, 28.0%); Central-American (n = 20; 6.4%) and Indo-Pakistani (n = 14; 4.5%). The biochemistry blood parameters studied were: calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, 25-hydroxivitamin D, and parathormone. A nutritional survey was used to estimate calcium and vitamin D intake and degree of sun exposure. Results Vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) was detected in Caucasians (8%), Sub-Saharans (18%), Central-Americans (20%), Maghrebís (34.5%), and Indo-Pakistanis (64%). Of the children studied (n = 9), 2.9% had serious vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng/ml); only one child of Sub-Saharan origin met the biochemical criteria for classical rickets. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in children not receiving vitamin D supplements in the first year of life. Conclusions Plasma vitamin D concentrations were deficient in 22.5% of children under the age of six, being more prevalent in children of Indo-Pakistani and Maghrebí origin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-324
JournalAnales de Pediatria
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Child population
  • Immigration
  • Rickets
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D deficiency


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