Summer 2010: Of Note

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By Mary J. Loftus

A deficiency of vitamin D among minority children may be fairly common, especially in those under three years old, discovered Emory researcher Conrad Cole 07G, assistant professor of pediatrics.

“These findings suggest that additional vitamin D supplementation, through diet, sunlight exposure, or vitamin D supplementation may be warranted for children with dark skin during winter and spring seasons in the U.S.,” he says.

Cole and his colleagues studied 290 apparently healthy children, with an average age of 2.5 years, during well-child visits at clinics in Atlanta. Testing found the prevalence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency was 22 percent and vitamin D insufficiency was 74 percent.

The deficiency was most common among African American children, then Hispanic children. Children tested during the spring and summer, or who were older than three, tested higher in vitamin D, according to the study, which was published online in March in the journal Pediatrics.

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