Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 27 P3

Vitamin D deficiency in obese Irish children

Aoife Carroll1,2, Philip Mayne1,2 & Nuala Murphy1,2


1Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; 2Department of Biochemistry, Children’s University Hospitatl, Dublin, Ireland.


Aim: To determine the vitamin D status of obese Irish children.

Methods: Obese children (BMI >97th percentile) attending a weight management programme were recruited over a 12 month period (February 2010–February 2011). 25OH vitamin D3, parathyroid hormone levels and bone profile were measured. Each patient was matched to a control patient for age, sex and season.

Results: Thirty-one obese children (19 female) were recruited. Mean age was 11.0 years (range 6.2–16.3 years). The mean vitamin D level (S.D.) for the obese cohort was significantly lower (P=0.036) at 39.9 nmol/l (16.1) compared to 47.2 nmol/l (21.3) in the control group. Seventy-four percent of the obese cohort had vitamin D levels <50 nmol/l (insufficient) and 22% (7/31) had levels <25 nmol/l (deficient). No significant abnormalities were seen in parathyroid hormone levels or bone profile results.

Conclusion: Obese children in Ireland have significantly lower serum vitamin D levels compared to controls. Adult data has demonstrated that both obesity and vitamin D deficiency are linked to cardiovascular disease 1. Vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals may arise secondary to an increased volume of distribution for fat-soluble vitamin D and a preferential retention of vitamin D in those fat stores. Low serum vitamin D levels in obese children may further increase their risk of cardiovascular disease in later life and highlights the importance of optimisation of their BMI.

1. Cheng et al. Adiposity, cardiometabolic risk, and vitamin D status: the Framingham Heart Study. Diabetes 2010.

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