Vitamin D deficiency more common in children with TB

New Delhi: Vitamin D deficiency is more common in children with tuberculosis (TB) than those not infected by the bacterial disease, according to a study conducted in hospitalised patients in Telangana.

The study, recently published in the journal Cureus, also found that a severe form of vitamin D deficiency — less than 10 nanogrammes per millilitre (ng/mL) — was higher among children with TB.

The team, including researchers from Osmania Medical College (OMC) and Government Medical College, Siddipet, carried out the study in a tertiary care centre at Niloufer Hospital, Telangana over a period of one year and five months.

A total of 70 children with TB between the ages of 6 months and 12 years were included in the study.

The participants were divided into three groups according to age: 1-4 years, 5-8 years, and 9-12 years.

“The mean vitamin D level in our study was 10.43 ng/ml among the cases and 22.84 ng/mL among the controls,” the authors of the study noted.

“The study found that prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (VDD) was high among children with TB than with controls. In addition, the severe form of VDD was higher among children with TB,” they added.

The researchers noted that clinicians should be aware of associated malnutrition and low socioeconomic status as risk factors for severe vitamin D deficiencies among them.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most devastating and widespread infections in the world. It is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly in developing countries, the researchers said.

TB is caused by mycobacteria. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the most frequently found organism, and to a lesser extent, so are M. bovis and M. africanum.

An imbalance between mycobacterial virulence and host immunity determines the progress of the disease, the researchers added.