The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2023 , Vol 65 , Num 3
Nutritional rickets in Turkish and refugee children aged 0-2: an increasing problem despite vitamin D prophylaxis
İsmail Dündar 1 ,Mehmet Akif Büyükavcı 2
1 Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Inonu University, Malatya
2 Department of Developmental Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Inonu University, Malatya, Türkiye
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2022.860 Background. Nutritional rickets (NR) is still a major problem and is exacerbated by an increasing influx of immigrants. In this study, Turkish and immigrant cases followed with the diagnosis of NR in our pediatric endocrinology clinic were retrospectively evaluated.

Methods. Detailed data of cases diagnosed with NR between 2013 and 2020 and followed for at least six months were reviewed.

Results. In the study period, 77 cases of NR were identified. Turkish children constituted 76.6% (n=59) while 18 (23.4%) were immigrant children. The mean age at diagnosis was 8.1±7.8 months, 32.5% (n=25) were female, and 67.5% (n=52) were male. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 was below normal in all patients, with a mean value of 4.3±2.6 ng/mL. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) was above normal in all and the mean value was 301.7±139.3 pg/ mL. While there were 3.9 cases of NR in 10,000 endocrine clinic patients in 2013, this rate increased more than four-fold to 15.7 patients in 2019.

Conclusions. Despite the vitamin D prophylaxis program in Türkiye, NR is seen significantly more frequently in recent years, which may be associated with an increasing number of refugees. High PTH levels indicate the severity of NR cases admitted to our clinic. However, clinically significant NR is only the tip of the iceberg and the true burden of subclinical rickets is unknown. Increasing compliance with the vitamin D supplementation program in refugee and Turkish children is important for the prevention of nutritional rickets. Keywords : children, immigrant, nutritional rickets, vitamin D deficiency

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