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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


SOLANO-BARQUERO, Melissa; VARGAS-SOTO, Marco; BRENES-GLENN, Ariel  and  HOLST-SCHUMACHER, Ileana. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Costa Rican children. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2021, vol.63, n.2, pp.104-113. ISSN 0001-6002.


To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children in the South- Central Region of Costa Rica.


A cross-sectional study was performed with Costa Rican children aged 1-7 years from the South-Central Region of the country belonging to the Nutrition and Education Centers and Children’s Nutrition and Comprehensive Care Centers. Serum samples were collected from all participants between August 2014 and May 2016 and stored at -80 ° C. Vitamin D status was assessed by immunoassay on an ARCHITECT Plus i1000 instrument. Descriptive statistics were performed with the SPSS statistical software package (V20, IBM Corp). A value of p˂0.05 was considered significant. Spearman and Pearson correlation were also performed to study the association between vitamin D status, anthropometric and hematological variables.


Atotal of 428 sampleswere analyzed.According to the cut-off points establishedby the Endocrine Society, 4.9% of the children tested presented deficiency, 50.2% had insufficiency and 44.9% had vitamin D sufficiency. The mean concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the studied population was 29.7 ng/mL (SD 6.5) in boys and 29.8 ng/mL (SD 7.0) in girls. A high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D (55.1 %) was found, but only 7.9 % of the children presented 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≤ 20 ng/mL. No correlation was found between vitamin D status and any of the evaluated anthropometric or hematological variables.


More than half of the young population presented hypovitaminosis-D. Therefore, in order to overcome this situation, the recommendation is to supplement the population with vitamin D and improve its fortification in widespread accessible food in Costa Rica.

Keywords : children; vitamin D; vitamin D deficiency; prevalence; Costa Rica..

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