More than 50% of children were either vitamin D deficient or insufficient in a recent study, and those children were more likely to have ear infections and gastrointestinal problems, according to published data.
Kathryn Thornton, DMD, MPH, of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at Michigan State University, and colleagues looked at data from a sample of 475 school-age children from Bogotá, Colombia, and classified their vitamin D status using plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations. The researchers analyzed recorded information from caregivers on illnesses and compared that information with the children’s vitamin D statuses.
“The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 10%; an additional 47% of children were vitamin D-insufficient. [Vitamin D deficiency] was associated with increased rates of diarrhea with vomiting and earache/discharge with fever,” the researchers wrote.
The findings also revealed that the increased reports of days with earache or ear discharge and fever was more common among boys, and vitamin D deficiency was not related to cough with fever.
The study researchers said their data highlight a need for clinical trials analyzing the role that vitamin D supplementation can play in interfering with respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
Disclosure: Thornton reports no relevant financial disclosures.