Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in international adoptees within the first 6 months after adoption

Kimara L. Gustafson, Judith K. Eckerle, Cynthia R. Howard, Beth Andrews, Lynda E. Polgreen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background. Vitamin D deficiency impairs bone health and development. Objective. To determine the prevalence of and risk factors for vitamin D deficiency in pediatric international adoptees. Methods. A prospective cohort (N = 189) study from a single international adoption clinic was conducted. Total 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] level was measured at the initial clinical assessment (within 6 months of adoption). Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a 25(OH)D <20 ng/mL (<8 nmol/L) and insufficiency as 25(OH)D <30 ng/mL (<12 nmol/L). Results. Vitamin D deficiency was diagnosed in 8% and insufficiency in 27% of the cohort. Lower body mass index and longer time in an institution were associated with vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency independent of age. Conclusions. Vitamin D insufficiency was common in our cohort of international adoptees. The significance of vitamin D insufficiency on bone development during the typical catch-up growth following international adoption needs to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1153
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Research reported in this publication was supported in part by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K23AR057789.


  • bone
  • global health
  • pediatrics


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