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

10 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.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • bone
  • global health
  • pediatrics

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