Food and Behaviour Research

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Diagnosis and management of vitamin D deficiency.

Pearce SH, Cheetham TD. (2010) BMJ. 340 Jan 11, b5664. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b5664. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here, Free full text of this article is available online


Summary Points

  • Vitamin D insufficiency is common in the UK population

  • Vitamin D deficiency typically presents with bony deformity (rickets) or hypocalcaemia in infancy and childhood, and with musculoskeletal pain and weakness in adults

  • Many other health problems—including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, several cancers, and autoimmune conditions—have recently been associated with vitamin D insufficiency

  • Risk factors include skin pigmentation, use of sunscreen or concealing clothing, being elderly or institutionalised, obesity, malabsorption, renal and liver disease, and anticonvulsant use

  • Vitamin D status is most reliably determined by assay of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD)

  • Rickets and osteomalacia should be treated with high strength calciferol (ergocalciferol or colecalciferol) for 8-12 weeks, followed by regular vitamin D supplements


The full text of this article can be accessed online at the BMJ here

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