Contributions of sunshine deprivation and maternal vitamin D deficiency to rickets in the United Arab Emirates

Adekunle Dawodu, Mukesh Agarwal, Denis Hardy, Jose Kochiyil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The aims were to better characterize the clinical and biochemical features of rickets and to asses the contributions of sunshine deprivation to maternal vitamin D status and thus its relation to rickets in the child. The clinical and biochemical characteristics of 40 consecutive rachitic children and the sunshine exposure and vitamin D status of their mothers at Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates were studied. Rachitic children had significant skeletal deformities, growth and motor developmental delay; and all had vitamin D deficiency. Clinical features of children with "moderate/severe" vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-OHD 12.5-37.5 nmol/L) were similar to those with "very severe" vitamin D deficiency (<12.5 nmol/L). The median serum alkaline phosphatase concentration was higher in the latter. Sixteen mothers (40%) had "very severe" vitamin D deficiency and 68% were not exposed to sunlight. Maternal body surface area exposed to sunlight correlated with serum 25-OHD concentrations (r=0.48, p=0.002). Rickets was mainly due to severe vitamin D deficiency rickets. Maternal vitamin D deficiency due to sunshine deprivation may contribute to persistence of rickets. Maternal sunshine exposure that ensures adequate vitamin D status should be emphasized in the strategies to eliminate rickets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalNew Emirates Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Maternal Vitamin D status
  • Rickets
  • Sunshine exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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