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Minerva Pediatrica 2017 Sep 15

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04883-6


language: English

Vitamin D status in internationally adopted children: the experience in Northwest Italy

Irene RAFFALDI 1 , Silvia GARAZZINO 1, Giuseppina BALLARDINI 2, Mauro ZAFFARONI 3, Nicolino GRASSO 3, Gianni BONA 3, Pier-Angelo TOVO 1, Andrea GUALA 2

1 Department of Pediatrics, Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Unit of Pediatrics, Castelli Hospital, Verbania, Italy; 3 Pediatric Clinic, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy


BACKGROUND: The majority of internationally adopted children, before adoption, might have experienced malnutrition, exposure to infectious diseases, environmental deprivation and neglect; they could also develop medical problems such as vitamin D deficiency. Scantly data are available about vitamin D status in internationally adopted children and, to our knowledge, no report exists on Italian adoptees.
METHODS: We carried out a prospective multicenter study, involving three Pediatric Centers in Piedmont, Italy, in order to collect information about 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] profile in adoptees, shortly after their arrival in Italy.
RESULTS: In 142/158 internationally adopted children 25(OH)D was measured: 75 males and 67 females, with a mean age of 4.22 ± 2.2 years (range 0.7-14.6 years). Fifty-three (37.3%) of them came from Asia, 48 (33.8%) from Africa, 24 (16.9%) from Eastern Europe, and 17 (12%) from Latin America. The median level of 25(OH)D in serum was 21.5 ng/mL (IQR range 14.3-29.7 ng/mL): 26 (18.2%) of the examined children had an insufficiency of 25-OHD, whereas 36 (25.2%) had a deficiency. Adoptees with longer time of institution stay had a significant risk to develop 25(OH)D deficiency. The Asian origin proved to be a risk factor to develop 25(OH)D deficiency, whereas the age >1 year was significantly associated with 25(OH)D insufficiency.
CONCLUSIONS: Our survey showed that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, in internationally adoptees, are frequent and relevant health problems.

KEY WORDS: 25-hydroxyvitamin D - Internationally adopted children - Deficiency - Risk factors

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