A new study out of Turkey has found that vitamin D deficiency is more common in children with recurrent tonsillopharyngitis than in healthy children.
Tonsillopharyngitis is a type of sore throat that is common in children and is characterized by inflammation and swelling of the tonsils and the pharynx. Symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, and white patches near the tonsils. Tonsillopharyngitis can go on to become strep throat.
Recurrent tonsillopharyngitis is defined by having at least seven treated episodes of tonsillopharyngitis in the previous year, three or more episodes in each of the previous three years, or at least five episodes in the previous two years.
Vitamin D has repeatedly been shown to play a role in many common childhood conditions and disorders. Research shows, for example, that vitamin D can help with ear infections and cavities, two conditions that are very prevalent among children.
Researchers recently compared the vitamin D levels of children with recurrent tonsillopharyngitis to children without the condition to see if vitamin D influences this common condition, as well.
The researchers measured the vitamin D levels of 74 children with recurrent tonsillopharyngitis and 73 healthy children. The children were divided into three groups according to their vitamin D levels: lower than 20 ng/ml, between 20 and 32 ng/ml, and between 32 and 100 ng/ml.
Overall, 93.1% of children with tonsillopharyngitis had vitamin D levels less than 32 ng/ml. Vitamin D levels were significantly lower among patients with tonsillopharyngitis, who had average levels of 19.7 ng/ml, compared to healthy children, who had average levels of 23.6 ng/ml.
“We think that in children with frequent tonsillopharyngitis, as a result of treatment of deficiencies detected with measurement of serum vitamin D levels, frequency of diseases, and healthcare expenses will decrease,” the researchers concluded.
Collak, A. et al. Serum vitamin D levels in children with recurrent tonsillopharyngitis. Northern Clinics of Istanbul, 2014.