New research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics Experience National Conference & Exhibition found that low vitamin D levels are prevalent in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very common disorder among children and is characterized by an inability to remain focused and difficulty in behavior control. The prevalence of ADHD has been steadily increasing, from 7.8% in 2003 to 11% in 2011.
Researchers are still studying the cause of developmental disorders such as ADHD or autism. In both of these conditions, it is thought that the genes you are born with play a role in developing these disorders.
Recently, researchers have become interested in the possible role that environmental and nutritional status play in these developmental disorders.
Vitamin D is one these factors of interest and researchers from Qatar recently conducted a study to determine if vitamin D deficiency is linked to ADHD.
The research team recruited 1,331 children with ADHD and 1,331 children without ADHD to serve as a controls.
Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, cholesterol and phosphorus were measured in every child. Information on socio-demographics and family history was also collected.
The researchers compared these measurements between groups to determine how children with ADHD differed from children without the disorder.
They found that vitamin D deficiency was more prevalent in children with ADHD when compared to the control group. The average vitamin D level in children with ADHD was 16.6 ng/ml, compared to 23.5 ng/ml in the control group.
“The study showed that vitamin D deficiency was higher among school age children and adolescents with the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder compared to controls,” the researchers concluded.
Kamal, M. Is High Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency a Contributory Factor for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents? AAP Experience National Conference & Exhibition, 2014.