Vitamin D deficiency is "rampant" among children with chronic kidney disease, new research shows.
The researchers explain that kids with kidney disease are prone to poor bone development, and vitamin D deficiency is a major underlying cause of the condition.
As reported in the medical journal Pediatrics, Dr. Craig B. Langman and colleagues at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago examined the extent of vitamin D deficiency in children with chronic kidney disease before and after guidelines were put into place targeting this problem.
Rates of outright vitamin D deficiency, ranged from 20 percent to 75 percent between 1987 and 1996, before the guidelines were issued. Among a contemporary group of children tested in 2005 and 2006, the rate of vitamin D deficiency was still 39 percent.
Langman's team found that average vitamin D levels in such children were similar before and after the guidelines.
They say restoring vitamin D levels is crucial for maintaining bone health, growth, and regulation of the immune system, as well as for reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and of several types of cancer.
SOURCE: Pediatrics, March 2009.