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Prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in Saudi children and risks of iron deficiency anemia.

Background: Vitamin D is a prohormone that starts to synthesize in the skin and then convert from inactive to active metabolite through liver and kidney. It is essential nutrient for bone mineralization and deficiency can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adult. In this study, we aim to estimate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Saudi children and whether it is associated with iron deficiency anemia in Saudi children. Method: A combined design was used for the study, where we initially collected data from patients' medical records, retrospectively. Then, we compared between patients with vitamin D deficiency and iron deficiency anemia. We used data collection sheet composed of three sections; demographic data, laboratory results and growth parameters. Data were entered and analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results: From 401 patients reviewed, only 249 were eligible to enter the study. Male patients accounted for the 59.4%. The mean age for the patients was 6.14 years. One hundred patients had vitamin D deficiency (40.2%); whereas 21 patients had iron deficiency anemia (8.4%). Our data showed that there was no association between vitamin D deficiency and iron deficiency anemia (p value=0.505). Conclusion: To the contrast of global and local results, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was low in our study. We could not demonstrate any significance of iron deficiency anemia as an independent risk factor for vitamin D deficiency.

Author(s): Rawia Albar, Nouran Banjar, Alaa Bokhari, Faris Alzahrani, Abar Fatani, Khalid Althagafi, Hebah Malaikah, Nouf Albalawi, Reja Mahdawi