Vitamin D deficiency in childhood — A review of current guidelines on diagnosis and management
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- Balasubramanian, S., Dhanalakshmi, K. & Amperayani, S. Indian Pediatr (2013) 50: 669. doi:10.1007/s13312-013-0200-3
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Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a significant public health problem throughout the world. Even in the Indian context,it has been reported to be present in majority of children in spite of wide availability of sunlight. Recent guidelines have defined vitamin D status as severe deficiency, deficiency, sufficiency and risk for toxicity as 25(OH)D levels <5, <15, >20 and >50ng/mL, respectively.The manifestations of deficiency may vary from hypocalcemic seizures, tetany in infancy and adolescence to florid rickets in toddlers. Treatment is necessary for all individuals with deficiency whether symptomatic or not and consists of vitamin D supplementation as Stoss therapy or daily or weekly oral regimens with equal efficacy and safety, combined with calcium supplements. Routine supplementation starting from newborn period is being increasingly endorsed by various international organizations. Prevention by sensible sunlight exposure, food fortification and routine supplementation are the currently available options for tackling this nutritional deficiency.