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East Afr Med J. 1994 Jun;71(6):358-62.

Factors affecting the morbidity of vitamin D deficiency rickets and primary protection.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, Trazbon, Turkey.


Rickets was investigated in 860 children in the 3 to 36 month age group in 21 villages attached to Sinik Health Centre, in northeastern Turkey. The blood calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase levels of suspect cases were determined following examination and wrist x-rays taken. The prevalence of cross-sectional rickets was determined, in the cohort group formed by removing the rickets cases (to the first group, advice was not given; to the second, 400 IU of vitamin D) and its incidence determined. The prevalence of rickets was calculated as 9.8% with no distinction observed between males and females (P > 0.05). It is higher in children in the 3-6 month group (23.97%) (P < 0.05); exposed rarely to the sun (P < 0.001); without fish in diet (P < 0.01); born to mother under 18 years old (P < 0.001); with a mother not using contraception (P < 0.01). The prevalence of acute respiratory infections (ARI) was calculated as 47.62% and 35.70% (P < 0.05) in children with and without rickets, respectively. The prevalence of enteritis was calculated as 29.76% and 18.43% (P < 0.05) in children with rickets and without rickets, respectively. Rickets was not seen where 400 IU of vitamin D was administered, while incidence for the twelve-month period was calculated as 3.8% in the other group. Combatting rickets is important in developing countries where deaths under five years are largely due to ARI and enteritis.

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