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Joslin research finds nearly three-quarters of youths with diabetes insufficient in vitamin D
Date:12/15/2008

BOSTON [Dec. 15, 2008] Three-quarters of youths with type 1 diabetes were found to have insufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center findings that suggest children with the disease may need vitamin D supplementation to prevent bone fragility later in life.

"To our surprise, we found extremely high rates of vitamin D inadequacy," said Lori Laffel, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section at Joslin, Investigator in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and senior author of the paper. "We didn't expect to find that only 24 percent of the study population would have adequate levels."

The study, which appears in the January 2009 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, measured levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in 128 youths with type 1 diabetes ranging in age from 1.5 to 17.5 years. The study sample included subjects with recent onset of diabetes as well as those who had long-established diabetes.

It found 24 percent had sufficient levels, 61 percent with insufficient levels and 15 percent to be deficient or having the lowest levels. Generally, those with deficient levels were the oldest of the subjects. In fact, 85 percent of the adolescents in the sample demonstrated inadequate vitamin D levels.

The paper notes that diabetes itself can negatively impact bone health and is associated with a modest reduction in bone mineral density and strength and an increase in fracture risk among those middle-aged and older. At the same time, vitamin D deficiency in infants and children is associated with bone deformation, while less severe vitamin D insufficiency prevents youths from attaining their optimal bone mass and may contribute to increased fracture risk later in life, the paper adds.

For these reasons, vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency poses an increased risk for children with diabetes, the paper says. In addition to reduc
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Contact: Kira Jastive
kira.jastive@joslin.harvard.edu
617-732-2418
Joslin Diabetes Center
Source:Eurekalert

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