Infection Status of Rural Schoolchildren and its Relationship with Vitamin D Concentrations
To assess the nutritional and infection status of rural schoolchildren and to study the relationship of infection status with serum 25(OH)D concentrations.
This study was carried out in a primary school, in a rural setting, near Pune (18°N), Maharashtra. Data collected from 387 children included anthropometric, clinical, infection-related data (using a validated questionnaire) and dietary data (by 24-h recall method over 3 non-consecutive days, including a holiday) and serum 25(OH)D estimations (by ELISA).
Prevalence of underweight and stunting were 18% and 11% respectively. Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) related symptoms were commonly reported. Episodes of URTI were found to be significantly and negatively correlated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations (rs = −0.14, p < 0.05) and lesser URTI episodes and duration were reported by children who were vitamin D sufficient as compared to those who were insufficient. No association of total infections was found with vitamin D status.
Moderate prevalence of underweight and stunting and frequent URTIs were observed in this population. Higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations and vitamin D sufficiency may be important for prevention of upper respiratory tract infections in rural children.
KeywordsNutritional status Vitamin D status 25(OH)D Vitamin D sufficient, Vitamin D insufficient
The authors are thankful for the support and help of Veena Ekbote and Sonal Palande. Further, they are grateful to the school principals, teachers and school staff and to all the children and parents who participated in this study.
RM was responsible for data collection, carried out the analyses and drafted the initial manuscript; SC conceptualized and designed the study, carried out the analyses, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted; NK conducted all the biochemical estimations and assisted with data collection; VK conceptualized and designed the study, critically reviewed the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted; AK conceptualized and designed the study, supervised data collection, reviewed and revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. AK is the guarantor for this paper.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Source of Funding
Ms. Rubina Mandlik received a Junior Research Fellowship from the University Grants Commission (UGC), Government of India.
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