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Millions Of U.S. Children Low In Vitamin D
Date:8/2/2009

BRONX, N.Y., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seven out of ten U.S. children have low levels of vitamin D, raising their risk of bone and heart disease, according to a study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The striking findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency could place millions of children at risk for high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090803/DC55348)

The study, "Prevalence and Associations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency in Children and Adolescents in the United States: Results from NHANES 2001-2004," was published today in the online edition of Pediatrics.

"Several small studies had found a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in specific populations, but no one had examined this issue nationwide," says study leader Michal L. Melamed, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and of epidemiology & population health at Einstein. Dr. Melamed has published extensively on the importance of vitamin D.

The researchers analyzed data on more than 6,000 children, ages one to 21, collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2004. They found that 9 percent of the study sample, equivalent to 7.6 million children across the U.S., was vitamin D deficient (defined as less than 15 ng/mL of blood), while another 61 percent, or 50.8 million, was vitamin D insufficient (15 to 29 ng/mL). Low vitamin D levels were especially common in children who were older, female, African-American, Mexican-American, obese, drank milk less than once a week, or spent more than four hours a day watching TV, playing videogames, or using computers.

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SOURCE Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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