Low Plasma Vitamin D (25-Hydroxycholecalciferol) in Children and Adolescents Diagnosed with Cancer: A Case-Control Study
Richard, Chin FM
Brougham, Mark FH
Wilson, David C.
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Paciarotti, I., Revuelta-Iniesta, R., McKenzie, J., Brand, C., Richard, C., Brougham, M. & Wilson, D. (2015) Low Plasma Vitamin D (25-Hydroxycholecalciferol) in Children and Adolescents Diagnosed with Cancer: A Case-Control Study, EC Nutrition, vol. 3, , pp. 513-520,
Introduction: Children and young people with cancer are less likely to spend time outdoors and they may also have a limited dietary intake. In addition, some cancer treatments can increase vitamin D catabolism. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate if there was an increased risk of poor vitamin D status in newly diagnosed childhood cancer patients compared to healthy controls in Scotland. Methods: Plasma 25 (OH) D was measured in children and adolescents during initial cancer treatment and compared to 33 healthy controls. Vitamin D deficiency was classified as plasma 25 (OH) D <25 nmol/l, with a plasma 25 (OH) D of 25-49 nmol/l classified as insufficient. Results: Forty-one patients (median age 3.8 years, IQR 1.9-8.0) were diagnosed with cancer, 63% were male. Twenty-three (56 %) had solid tumours, 18 (44%) had haematological cancers. Median (IQR) plasma 25 (OH) D at recruitment was 37.0 nmol/l (23.7-58.2). Ten patients (24%) had vitamin D deficiency and 17 (41%) patients were classified as insufficient. The median (IQR) plasma 25 (OH) D in the control group (n = 33) was 37.5 nmol/l (29.0-58.0). Six controls (18%) had vitamin D deficiency and 14 (42%) were classified as having insufficient results. Plasma 25 (OH) D did not differ (p > 0.05) between the patients and the controls. Conclusions: Almost three in four Scottish children treated for cancer had vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency; there was no increased risk of poor vitamin D status compared to healthy controls. Assessment of vitamin D status at diagnosis and in response to the course of treatment appears necessary to optimise nutritional management.