Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with vitamin D status in newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients

Paula Aristizabal, Michael Sherer, Bianca P. Perdomo, Esteban Castelao, Courtney D. Thornburg, James Proudfoot, Elizabeth Jacobs, Ron S. Newfield, Peter Zage, William Roberts, Maria Elena Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are associated with serious sequelae in childhood cancer survivors. However, data on vitamin D deficiency in children with newly diagnosed cancer are scarce and the role of sociodemographic factors and vitamin D supplementation is largely unknown. We assessed vitamin D status and its socio-demographic and clinical correlates in 163 children with newly diagnosed cancer, using 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and assessed longitudinal changes following vitamin D supplementation. Sixty-five percent of the patients with newly diagnosed cancer had low 25(OH)D concentrations. Fifty-two patients (32%) were vitamin D deficient (≤20 ng/mL 25(OH)D concentration), and 53(33%) were insufficient (21-29 ng/mL 25(OH)D concentration). Age over 10 (P = 0.019), Hispanic ethnicity (P = 0.002), and female sex (P = 0.008) were significantly associated with lower 25(OH)D concentration at diagnosis. Vitamin D supplementation resulted in significant increase in 25(OH)D concentrations (P < 0.001). However, following supplementation in the longitudinal analysis, this increase was less pronounced in Hispanic patients vs. non-Hispanic (P = 0.007), and in children with solid tumors vs. hematological malignancies (P = 0.003). Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are common in children with newly diagnosed cancer. Hispanic patients, females and older children were at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. Although supplementation appeared to increase 25(OH)D concentrations over time, this increase was not as pronounced in certain subsets of patients. Prospective trials of the effects of vitamin D supplementation on bone health in children with newly diagnosed cancer are warranted, particularly in Hispanics and patients with solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-325
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 18 2020


  • Cancer disparities
  • nutrition
  • pediatric cancer
  • supplementation
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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