Vitamin D Status in Abused and Nonabused Children Younger Than 2 years Old with Fractures

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OBJECTIVE: To examine vitamin D levels in children with (1) suspected abusive and accidental fractures, (2) single and multiple fractures, and (3) fracture types highly associated with inflicted trauma.

DESIGN AND METHODS: A study of children younger than 2 years of age with fractures admitted to a large children's hospital was performed. Bivariate analysis and test for trend were performed to test for the association of vitamin D status and biochemical markers of bone health with the primary outcomes of fracture etiology, number, and type.

RESULTS: Of 118 subjects in the study, 8% had deficient vitamin D levels (<20 ng/mL; <50 nmol/L), 31% were insufficient (≥20 < 30 ng/mL; ≥50 < 78 nmol/L), and 61% were sufficient (≥30 ng/mL; ≥78 nmol/L). Lower vitamin D levels were associated with higher incidences of hypocalcemia (P = .002) and elevated alkaline phosphatase (P = .05) but not hypophosphatemia (P = .30). The majority of children sustained accidental fractures (60%); 31% were nonaccidental and 9% were indeterminate. There was no association between vitamin D levels and any of the following outcomes: child abuse diagnosis (P = .32), multiple fractures (P = .24), rib fractures (P = .16), or metaphyseal fractures (P = .49).

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D insufficiency was common in young children with fractures but was not more common than in previously studied healthy children. Vitamin D insufficiency was not associated with multiple fractures or diagnosis of child abuse. Nonaccidental trauma remains the most common cause of multiple fractures in young children.



Schilling S, Wood JN, Levine MA, Langdon D, Christian CW