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J Pediatr. 1998 Mar;132(3 Pt 1):421-5.

Low total body bone mineral content and high bone resorption in Korean winter-born versus summer-born newborn infants.

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Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Seasonal differences in newborn total body bone mineral content (TBBMC) have not been studied, particularly in relation to alterations in vitamin D status in winter. In vitamin D deficiency bone resorption may be high and bone mineralization low. Bone resorption may be assessed by serum cross-linked carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) measures. Because vitamin D supplements throughout pregnancy are uncommon in Korea, we hypothesized that in Korean winter newborns, TBBMC is low and serum ICTP high from high bone resorption and low 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) compared with those in summer newborns. Seventy-one Korean term infants were studied prospectively in summer (July through September, n = 37) versus winter (January through March, n = 34); TBBMC was measured before 3 days of age by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Significant seasonal differences were found: winter newborns had 6% lower TBBMC (least squares means +/- SD; 86.7 +/- 7.7 gm vs 93.9 +/- 7.8 gm, p = 0.0002), lower cord serum 25-OHD (10.7 +/- 8 nm vs 30 +/- 15 nm, p = 0.0001) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and higher ICTP (96.4 +/- 20.3 microg/L vs 74.8 +/- 24 microg/L, p = 0.0002) and calcium than summer newborns. TBBMC correlated with serum 25-OHD (r = 0.243, p = 0.047) and inversely with ICTP (r = -0.333, p = 0.008). We suggest that in Korea low maternal vitamin D status in winter results in marked reduction in newborn TBBMC.

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