Vitamin D deficiency common in children with cystic fibrosis

November 3, 2008

Despite receiving Vitamin D doses equal to or higher than those recommended by the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation, many children with CF are Vitamin D deficient, according to a study in the October Journal of Pediatrics.

Despite receiving Vitamin D doses equal to or higher than those recommended by the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation, many children with CF are Vitamin D deficient, according to a study in the October Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions performed a retrospective chart review of 262 pediatric patients with CF from January 2003 to December 2006. They found that vitamin D deficiency prevalence declined from 86.5% in 2003 to 46.2% in 2006. Patients older than 12 were more likely to have deficiency than patients younger than 5.

In addition, the success of treatment with 50,000 IU of ergocalciferol once, twice, or three times weekly was 33%, 26%, and 43%, respectively. Thr recommended treatment dose for vitamin D deficiency is 50,000 IU of ergocalciferol once a week for eight weeks in children 5 and older, and 12,000 IU for children younger than 5.

As a result of the findings, Johns Hopkins has updated its vitamin D treatment protocol, and now treats pediatric CF patients with vitamin D deficiency with 50,000 IU ergocalciferol for four weeks daily, Reuters reported. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its vitamin D recommendation in a clinical report by stating that all children should receive 400 IU of vitamin D per day.