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HOW VITAMIN D LEVELS OF CHILDREN CHANGED DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A COMPARISON OF PRE-PANDEMIC AND PANDEMIC PERIODS
GÜLER BEYAZGÜL, ÖZLEM BAĞ, İLKAY YURTSEVEN, FULYA COŞKUNOL, SAYNUR BAŞER, DUYGU ÇİÇEK, GÜL İREM KANBEROĞLU, FİLİZ ÇELİK, ÖZLEM NALBANTOĞLU, BEHZAT ÖZKAN
Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology - 2022;14(2):188-195
University of Health Sciences Turkey, Dr. Behçet Uz Pediatric Diseases and Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Clinic of General Pediatrics, İzmir, Turkey

INTRODUCTION: Objective: The synthesis of vitamin D is related to sun exposure, thus the restrictions during the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may have affected the levels of vitamin D in all age groups. The aim of this study was to evaluate vitamin D levels of healthy children and adolescents during the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: Methods: The study group included healthy children and adolescents who were admitted for general check-ups and evaluated with 25(OH)D levels. Then, it was divided into two groups: Group 1 “pre-pandemic”, and Group 2 “pandemic”. Vitamin D levels were recorded from the hospital database and were compared according to age groups, gender, and the season, retrospectively. Results: Results: The study group [mean age=90.29±59.45 median age=79 interquartile range (IQR): 102 months, male/female: 1409/1624] included 3033 children and adolescents (Group 1/Group 2 n=1864/1169). Although the mean 25(OH)D levels among preschool children did not differ between groups, the vitamin D levels of school-aged children and adolescents were significantly lower in the pandemic period than in the pre-pandemic period [Group 1 median=16.50 (IQR: 10.5) vs Group 2 median=15.9 (IQR: 11.3) in 6-12 age group (p=0.026); Group 1 median=13.30 (IQR: 10.2) vs Group 2 median=11.20 (IQR: 9.7) in 12-18 age group (p=0.003)]. Moreover, the 25(OH)D levels of adolescents showed seasonal variance with lower levels in winter, and unexpectedly, in summer. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Conclusion: Pandemic-related restrictions have caused significant decreases in vitamin D levels of school-aged children and adolescents. We suggest that children and adolescents should be given vitamin D supplementation in order to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D during the pandemic.

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