Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rickets increasing

Rickets is a condition when the bones in young children get soft, deforming and fracturing. It is very common in developing countries but now seems to be on the rise elsewhere too. Doctors are now advising all pregnant mothers to take vitamin D supplements.

A family with rickets. Paris, 1900.

All pregnant women should take vitamin D supplements to stave off increasing rates of rickets in children, researchers have advised. Babies and toddlers should also be considered for supplements in order to help stop the resurgence of the bone disease, they say.

It is thought use of high factor sunscreen and children increasingly playing computer games inside is contributing to a resurgence of the problem. Doctors say more children than ever are presenting with vitamin D deficiency which can cause seizures and rickets, which is a bone- wasting disease that was thought to have been wiped out in the 1950s.

It is believed cases of full-blown rickets, which impairs bone development leading to deformities, poor teeth, stunted growth and general ill health, could be as high as one in 100 in some groups. (Link)

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