Is vitamin D deficiency a feature of pediatric celiac disease?

Jeffrey Villanueva, Louise Maranda, Benjamin Udoka Nwosu
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism: JPEM 2012, 25 (5-6): 607-10

BACKGROUND: Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune enteropathy characterized by villus atrophy and malabsorption of essential nutrients. Vitamin D deficiency has been described in autoimmune diseases, but its status in prepubertal children with CD has not been adequately studied.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the vitamin D status of prepubertal children with CD.

STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective study of prepubertal children aged 3-12 years with CD (n=24) who were compared to prepubertal, non-CD children of the same age (n=50). Children were included in the study if they had a diagnosis of CD by intestinal biopsy, and were not on a gluten-free diet (GFD). Patients were excluded if they had diseases of calcium or vitamin D metabolism, or were receiving calcium or vitamin D supplementation or had other autoimmune diseases. All subjects had their serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level measured.

RESULTS: There was no difference in 25(OH)D level between the CD and non-CD children (27.58 +/- 9.91 versus 26.20 +/- 10.45, p = 0.59). However, when the patients were subdivided into obese and non-obese groups, the non-obese CD patients had a significantly higher 25(OH)D level than the obese normal children (28.39 +/- 10.26 versus 21.58 +/- 5.67, p = 0.009). In contrast, there was no difference in 25(OH)D level between non-obese CD patients and non-obese normal children (28.39 +/- 10.26 versus 30.64 +/-12.08, p = 0.52). The season of 25(OH)D measurement was not a significant confounder (p =0.7).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed no difference in 25(OH) D levels between normal children and those with CD when adjusted for body mass index.

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