Nutritional Rickets in a Tropical Environment: The Roles of Habitat and Habit
A survey of under five was carried out at a military base to determine the prevalence of nutritional rickets and the possible predisposing factor/s. 9,105 under five children were enrolled. 38 children were confirmed to have rickets. This gives a prevalence of 4.2 per 1000 under fives in the base. These were made up of 12 males and 26 females with a ratio of 1:2.2. 28 of these lived in the first and second floors while 10 lived on the ground floors. No case of rickets was found in children who lived in bungalows. No subject had chronic illness or was on any drug that interfered with vitamin D metabolism. Statistical comparison of the numbers of cases of rickets from the ground floors with those from both first and second floors yielded a X2 of 10.36, p<0.01 and an odd ratio 3.1. Our conclusion was that inadequate exposures to sunlight resulting from the architectural design of the accommodation and the relative restriction of movement of the subjects earlier in life were contributory factors to the development of rickets.
NQJHM Vol. 14 (2) 2004: pp. 157-160