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Vitamin D Intake and Status of Children With Sickle Cell Disease in Montreal, Canada

Grégoire-Pelchat, Pascale, RD*,†; Alos, Nathalie, MD†,‡; Ribault, Virginie, MD; Pastore, Yves, MD§; Robitaille, Nancy, MD§; Mailhot, Geneviève, PhD, RD*,†

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: November 2018 - Volume 40 - Issue 8 - p e531–e536
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001306
Online Articles: Original Articles

Sickle cell disease (SCD) and vitamin D deficiency share manifestations such as bone complications and bony pains. Canadian SCD children are characterized by compromised sun exposure all year long and potential dietary deficiency, which combined to SCD-causing high nutritional demands, may lead to impaired vitamin D status. The objectives of this study were to document vitamin D status and intake and assess the relationship between vitamin D status and SCD-related outcomes in Canadian children with SCD followed in a tertiary pediatric center. Our study population included 119 children (47% males, median age [interquartile range]: 11.1 [9.2-14.8]) mainly of Haitian and Sub-Saharan African origin who had at least one measure of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) performed between June 2015 and February 2017. Predominant genotypes were homozygous hemoglobin S (60%) and sickle hemoglobin-C (32%). Vitamin D deficiency (25OHD<30 nmol/L) and insufficiency (30 to 49 nmol/L) were present in 31% and 37% of children, respectively. Vitamin D-sufficient children (25OHD>50 nmol/L) had higher hemoglobin levels, lower leukocyte, reticulocyte, and neutrophil counts, compared with vitamin D-deficient and insufficient children. Vitamin D intake was low and modestly correlated to serum 25OHD levels. Acute SCD complications in the preceding 2 years were not associated with vitamin D status in these children.

*Department of Nutrition, Université de Montréal

Department of Pediatrics, Endocrinology Division

§Department of Pediatrics, Hemato-oncology Division, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine

Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montreal, QC, Canada

G.M. is a scholar from FRQ-S (Fonds de Recherche du Québec en Santé). The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Geneviève Mailhot, PhD, RD, CHU Ste-Justine Research Center, 3175 Cote Sainte-Catherine Rd, Room 2.17.019, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1C5 (e-mail:

Received November 15, 2017

Accepted August 12, 2018

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.