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Alaska Med. 1997 Jul-Sep;39(3):72-4, 87.

Nutritional rickets among breast-fed black and Alaska Native children.

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Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, AK, USA.


Although nutritional rickets remains a problem primarily in developing countries, children in northern climates in developed countries may also be at risk. We reviewed the case histories of five children diagnosed in Alaska during 1993-96. Three of the children were black and two Alaska Native. Their ages ranged from 11 to 20 months and they presented during January, April, and September. All of the children were breast-fed but only two received their milk intake exclusively from breast milk. The presenting complaint included abnormal gait in two children and seizures, bowed legs, and growth delay in one child each. All five children demonstrated a decrease in their height-for-age percentile. The most common physical finding was a rachitic rosary which was present in four children. In Alaska, all black and Alaska Native children (and other more pigmented children) less than two years of age who receive all or part of their milk intake from breast milk should receive vitamin D supplementation regardless of the time of year.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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