Vitamin D deficiency in a Manitoba community.Can J Public Health. 1993 Nov-Dec; 84(6):394-6.CJ
Using a cross-sectional survey, to investigate the vitamin D status of a random sample of 80 mother-child pairs (child age 3-24 months) in a Manitoba community with a high incidence of rickets.
A questionnaire on feeding habits, gestational history, maternal diet and vitamin supplements was administered to mothers in their homes with the assistance of a local interpreter. Venous blood was collected from both mother and child for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.
Of 91% babies initially breastfed, 36% received no formula or milk after weaning and 40% received no vitamin supplements. 24% of mothers took no vitamin supplements during pregnancy and lactation. Knowledge about rickets was poor. In 43% of children and 76% of mothers, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were below normal range.
Vitamin D levels are low in this population due to lack of fortified dairy products and vitamin D supplements. A public health program should include counseling on rickets and vitamin D supplementation for all infants and pregnant or lactating women.