Many breast fed children not getting Vitamin D supplementation

January 01, 0001

Many breast fed children not getting Vitamin D supplementation

These US authors investigated the rate of vitamin D supplementation in breastfed children and sought to identifiy patient characteristics, parental beliefs, and practitioner policies associated with supplementation. They performed a prospective observational study where physicians completed a survey on vitamin D supplementation for breastfed infants. Parents of children 6 to 24 months old also completed a survey.

The authors found: "Among 44 responding pediatricians, 36.4% indicated that they recommended vitamin D supplementation for all breastfed infants. A total of 2364 surveys were completed on age-eligible children. 1140 infants were breastfed for at least 6 months with little or no formula supplementation. The rate of vitamin D use for these infants was 15.9%. Use of vitamin D was significantly associated with parental agreement that their child's pediatrician recommended supplementation (OR 7.8), and that vitamins are unnecessary because breast milk has all needed nutrition (OR 0.12). Among parents of predominantly breastfed infants who indicated that their child's doctor recommended vitamin D, 44.6% gave the supplementation to their child. Conversely, 67% of parents agreed that breast milk has all needed nutrition, and only 3% of these parents gave vitamin D to their children."

The authors concluded: "A minority of breastfed infants received vitamin D supplementation. Educational efforts directed at both physicians and parents are needed to increase compliance with vitamin D supplementation guidelines."

This study reinforces that many breastfed children are not getting recommended Vitamin D supplementation and that physicians can play a key role in increasing supplementation rates.

For the full abstract, click here.

Pediatrics 125(1):105-111, January 2010
© 2010 to the American Academy of Pediatrics
Use of Supplemental Vitamin D Among Infants Breastfed for Prolonged Periods. James A. Taylor, Leah J. Geyer, and Kenneth W. Feldman.

Category: M. Musculoskeletal, T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: vitamin D, supplementation, breastfeeding, infants, survey, prospective observational study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 3 February 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.