Vitamin D deficiency in childhood: old lessons and current challenges

Roberto Antonucci, Cristian Locci, Maria Grazia Clemente, Elena Chicconi, Luca Antonucci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hypovitaminosis D in childhood is a re-emerging public health problem in developed countries. New life style habits, current "epidemics" of obesity in children and adolescents worldwide, and other preventable risk factors may play a role in favoring the occurrence of vitamin D deficiency. In addition to skeletal consequences, hypovitaminosis D has been found to be involved in the development of serious health extra-skeletal problems in childhood, including atopy and autoimmunity. The increasing concerns about the global health impact of vitamin D deficiency make further research necessary to fill the gaps of knowledge in this field, and particularly to establish universally accepted "normal" serum 25(OH)D levels in the pediatric population, and to improve strategies for the screening, prevention and treatment of hypovitaminosis D. This review discusses the key points of hypovitaminosis D in childhood in the light of new knowledge, and highlights the limitations of current strategies to control this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-260
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism : JPEM
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 28 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Bone Diseases/etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic/etiology
  • Developed Countries
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/etiology
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Nutritional Status
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Reference Values
  • Rickets/etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sunlight
  • Vitamin D/administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D Deficiency/complications


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