Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Lactose intolerance: lack of evidence for short stature or vitamin D deficiency in prepubertal children.

BACKGROUND: The health consequences of lactose intolerance (LI) are unclear.

AIMS: To investigate the effects of LI on stature and vitamin D status.

HYPOTHESES: LI subjects will have similar heights and vitamin D status as controls.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Prepubertal children of ages 3-12 years with LI (n=38, age 8.61 ± 3.08y, male/female 19/19) were compared to healthy, age- and gender-matched controls (n=49, age 7.95±2.64, male/female 28/21).

INCLUSION CRITERIA: prepubertal status (boys: testicular volume <3cc; girls: Tanner 1 breasts), diagnosis of LI by hydrogen breath test, and no history of calcium or vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] <50 nmol/L. Gender-adjusted midparental target height (MPTH) z-score was calculated using NCHS data for 18 year-old adults. Data were expressed as mean ± SD.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in 25(OH)D between the LI and non-LI subjects (60.1±21.1, vs. 65.4 ± 26.1 nmol/L, p = 0.29). Upon stratification into normal weight (BMI <85(th) percentile) vs. overweight/obese (BMI ≥85(th) percentile), the normal weight controls had significantly higher 25(OH)D level than both the normal weight LI children (78.3 ± 32.6 vs. 62.9 ± 23.2, p = 0.025), and the overweight/obese LI children (78.3±32.6 vs. 55.3±16.5, p = 0.004). Secondly, there was no overall difference in height z-score between the LI children and controls. The normal weight LI patients had similar height as normal controls (-0.46 ± 0.89 vs. -0.71 ± 1.67, p = 0.53), while the overweight/obese LI group was taller than the normal weight controls (0.36 ± 1.41 vs. -0.71 ± 1.67, p = 0.049), and of similar height as the overweight/obese controls (0.36 ± 1.41 vs. 0.87 ± 1.45, p = 0.28). MPTH z-score was similar between the groups.

CONCLUSION: Short stature and vitamin D deficiency are not features of LI in prepubertal children.

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