Pregnant women should be screened for rickets19th August 2011
Experts have issued a new warning over the bone disease rickets in the UK.
An article in the Journal of Medical Screening says the NHS should consider checking pregnant women’s vitamin D levels to protect babies from it amid fears the ‘Victorian’ disease was returning because many women were not getting enough vitamin D from natural sources.
In an editorial US pre-natal screening expert Dr James Haddow highlighted cases of seizures, heart failure and rickets in children whose mothers were vitamin D deficient.
He said: "Any strategy aimed at avoiding symptomatic vitamin D deficiency in offspring would logically include assuring adequacy of maternal vitamin D during pregnancy.
"Attending to this aspect of maternal and child health has added significance for mothers who breastfeed."
His warning follows a study in Birmingham which found almost one in two Asian women were vitamin D deficient. GPs in the area are already screening pregnant women from the Asian community but there are no formal protocols in place.
One of the authors, Dr Jonathan Berg, said: “Screening in selected populations is currently the way forward, but clearly it is very difficult for the NHS to test everyone. We are seeing a big increase in demand from the 'worried well'.”
Department of Health advice for all pregnant women to take vitamin D supplements but it has asked the scientific advisory committee to review the evidence on vitamin D requirements for different population groups.
A spokesman added: “Our priority is to ensure health professionals provide consistent advice and implement the current recommendations.”
Share this page
There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!
Post your comment
Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.
Title: Pregnant women should be screened for rickets
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 19489
Date Added: 19th Aug 2011