Status: Funded - Closed
Vitamin D deficiency in Haitian children and efficacy of a novel 25(OH)D point-of-care test device
Julia von Oettingen, MD, PhD, MMSc
BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced bone health and adverse health effects, and in its severe form can manifest as rickets, skeletal deformities and hypocalcemic tetany or seizures. Vitamin D deficiency in children is prevalent worldwide, including in the United States, and rickets remains a public health problem in developing nations.
GAP: The vitamin D status and prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and rickets in the Haitian pediatric population has not been previously studied, although previous studies in other Caribbean populations suggest that prevalence rates in Haiti may be high. In resource limited settings, laboratory facilities for vitamin D testing are frequently unavailable.
HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesize that vitamin D deficiency and rickets are prevalent in Haitian infants and young children, and that a vitamin D point-of-care test (POCT) device is accurate and effective for screening for this problem.
METHODS: Using a cross-sectional study design, we will examine the vitamin D status of 300 Haitian infants and young children between 9 months and 6 years of age, recruited from 3 different regions in Haiti.
IMPACT: This study may inform implementation of public health policies such as recommendations for vitamin D fortification and supplementation programs, may suggest feasibility of vitamin D insufficiency screening by means of POCT, and will be informative for the undertaking of similar studies in other resource poor settings.
Boston Children's Hospital