Vitamin D deficiency among healthy infants and toddlers: A prospective study from Irbid, Jordan


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Abstract

Background:The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthy infants and toddlers, as well as its associated factors, in Irbid, Jordan.Methods:A total of 275 subjects (136 infants and 139 toddlers) aged 6–36 months participated in this study. Information concerning sociodemographic characterastics and early feeding patterns was collected using a self–guided questionnaire. Plasma vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, and alkaline phosphatase activity were measured.Results:The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 28% (16.7% for severe vitamin D deficiency and 11.3% for vitamin D deficiency) and vitamin D insufficiency was 28.4%. Plasma calcium and alkaline phosphatase levels showed no correlation with the vitamin D status of the study population. For both age groups, a significant association was found between vitamin D status and sun exposure (P < 0.001). A significant association between infant feeding practices and vitamin D status was found (P < 0.001). Infants who were exclusively breast–fed had higher risk for vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D insufficiency than those who were bottle–fed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses results showed that female sex, low sun exposure and exclusive breast–feeding were the main determents of vitamin D levels.Conclusion:The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is considered to be high among northern Jordanian infants and toddlers. Sun exposure of less than 30 min daily and exclusively breast–feeding are the main factors for developing vitamin D deficiency.

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