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Children with Cancer were 6X more likely to have less than 10ng of vitamin D – Feb 2011

Vitamin D status in paediatric patients with cancer

Research Article
1. Akash Sinha MBBS1,
2. Peter Avery PhD2,
3. Steve Turner BSc3,
4. Simon Bailey PhD4,
5. Tim Cheetham MD1,5, tim.cheetham at nuth.nhs.uk
Article first published online: 3 FEB 2011; DOI: 10.1002/pbc.22963
1 Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
2 School of Mathematics and Statistics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
3 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
4 Department of Paediatric Oncology, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
5. Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Background
Children with malignant disease are at increased risk of bone disorders and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D status may influence this risk and so we assessed vitamin D levels in children with malignant disease undergoing active treatment or surveillance post-therapy.

Procedure
This was an outpatient-based cross-sectional study of 61 children with a history of malignancy (median age 11.1 years; range 1.5–24.4 years) and 60 control subjects (median age 8.4 years; range 0.2–18.0 years) attending hospital for the management of non-malignant disorders. Serum vitamin D (25-OH-D), parathormone levels and bone biochemistry were determined. Vitamin D status and its relationship to age, sex, ethnicity, time of sampling and presence of malignant disease was determined.

Results
Vitamin D status was suboptimal in 62% of cases (25-OH-D < 50 nmol/L [<20 ng/ml]). Vitamin D deficiency (25-OH-D?<25 nmol/L [<10ng/ml]) was more common in children with malignant disease than controls (21.3% vs. 3.3%; P?=?0.013). Month of sampling (P?<?0.001), ethnicity (P?<?0.001), older age (P?=?0.011), and history of malignancy (P?=?0.012) were associated with a poorer vitamin D status.

Conclusions
Vitamin D levels 25-OH-D are lower in survivors of childhood cancer in comparison to control children with the majority either insufficient or deficient. Assessment and adequate replacement of vitamin D status may be of particular value in this group of children.


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