Food and Behaviour Research

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Is high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency a correlate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

Kamal M, Bener A, Ehlayel MS. (2014) Atten Defic Hyperact Disord.  2014 Jun 6(2) 73-78 doi: 10.1007/s12402-014-0130-5. Epub 2014 Mar 9

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The aim of the study was to determine the association between vitamin D and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and difference in the level of vitamin D in ADHD children and control. This a case-control study carried out in school health and primary health care clinics. A total of 1,331 children and adolescents who were diagnosed with ADHD based on clinical criteria and standardized questionnaires were enrolled in this study and were matched with 1,331 controls, aged 5-18 years old.

Data on body mass index (BMI), clinical biochemistry variables including serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D were collected. The study found significant association between ADHD and vitamin D deficiency after adjusting for BMI and sex (adj. OR 1.54; 95 % CI 1.32-1.81; P < 0.001). Majority of the ADHD children were in the age group 5-10 years (40.7 %), followed by 11-13 years (38.4 %). The proportion of BMI <85th percentile was significantly over represented in ADHD group as compared to healthy control (87.8 vs. 83 %; P < 0.001, respectively), while on the other hand, BMI >95th percentile was over represented in the control than ADHD group (7.6 vs. 4.6 %; P < 0.001, respectively). Mean values of vitamin D (ng/mL) were significantly lower in ADHD children (16.6 ± 7.8) than in healthy children (23.5 ± 9.0) (P < 0.001). There was significant correlation between vitamin D deficiency and age (r = -0.191, P = 0.001); calcium (r = 0.272, P = 0.001); phosphorous (r = 0.284, P = 0.001); magnesium (r = 0.292, P = 0.001); and BMI (r = 0.498, P = 0.001) in ADHD children.

The vitamin D deficiency was higher in ADHD children compared to healthy children.