Vitamin D: Prevalence of Deficiency on an Inpatient Pediatric Psychiatry Service

Meghan Gaare, Carolyn Howell, Emily Frosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. This study evaluates the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency on a pediatric psychiatry inpatient unit. Deficiency has been linked to poor general health outcomes including all-cause mortality as well as psychiatric illness such as depression.1-2 While vitamin D deficiency is common in the United States at large, there is a paucity of data evaluating its prevalence specifically in the pediatric psychiatry population. Method. Vitamin D status, assessed by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, was obtained on 147 patients as part of routine laboratory blood work on inpatient admission. Low levels were categorized into deficient (<15 ng/mL) or insufficient (15-31 ng/mL). Results. The overall frequency of low vitamin D levels in this population was high, with 85% being insufficient or deficient. Conclusion. A high prevalence of low vitamin D levels was observed in a pediatric psychiatry inpatient sample. This finding highlights an opportunity for potential identification of deficiency/insufficiency at intake for an at-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalInfant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • deficiency
  • mental health
  • pediatric
  • screening
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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