Vol. 7 No. 01 (2023)
Original Article

Vitamin D deficiency in healthy children and associated factors

Full Article

Umme Nusrat Ara
Medical Officer, Department of Paediatric Hematology and Oncology, Bangladesh Shishu Hospital & Institute, Dhaka
Tapas Chowdhury
Specialist, Department of Paediatrics and Neonatology, Bangladesh Specialized Hospital, Dhaka
Tania Sultana
Medical Officer, Department of Paediatric Hematology and Oncology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka
Zamil Ahmed Manik
Assistant professor, Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Child & Mother Health, Matuail, Dhaka

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Introduction: This study aimed to investigate factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in healthy children in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional survey was conducted at the primary healthcare center from February 2021 to February 2022. The study included 200 healthy Bangladeshi nationals 5-16 years of age out of a random sample of 250 subjects approached, resulting in a response rate of 80%. Methods and Materials: Face-to-face interviews with a questionnaire were used to collect sociodemographic information, non-dietary covariates, dietary intake, vitamin D intake, type of feeding and laboratory investigations. These assessments cover various aspects of health status, including medical conditions, family history, body mass index, clinical manifestations, and biochemical parametes. Results: The study revealed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Bangladeshi adolescents (59.8% among 11-16 years old), followed by 5-10 year-olds (30.3%), and those aged < 5 years (9.9%). The likelihood of vitamin D deficiency increased with age, with a significant difference between the vitamin D-deficient and normal children. Additionally, vitamin D-deficient children had a lower average body mass index (17.9) than normal children (19.6). A family history of vitamin D deficiency was more common among children with vitamin D deficiency (68.9%) than among normal children (19.2%). Most children with vitamin D deficiency exhibit limited physical activity. The differences between the two groups were significant in terms of family history and physical activity. Low vitamin D levels are associated with reduced dietary and supplemental vitamin D intake. Vitamin D supplementation was lacking in both groups, with over half of the vitamin D-deficient (66.9%) and normal (51.9%) children not receiving any vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D-deficient children had poor dietary vitamin D intake, particularly from sources like vitamin D-fortified milk (64.9%) and fortified foods (26.4%). Conclusion: The study findings emphasize the high risk of vitamin D deficiency among Bangladeshi children. Key factors include limited outdoor activity, physical activity, and dietary vitamin D intake. Extended vitamin D supplementation is crucial to ensure the health and development of breastfeeding infants.


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Published 10-02-2024


  • Vitamin D deficiency,
  • health children,
  • vitamin D supplements

How to Cite

Ara UN, Chowdhury T, Sultana T, Manik ZA. Vitamin D deficiency in healthy children and associated factors. Planet (Barisal) [Internet]. 2024 Feb. 10 [cited 2024 Jul. 25];7(01):233-40. Available from: https://bdjournals.org/index.php/planet/article/view/238