New York: Children who are Vitamin D deficient have a greater risk of having more severe forearm fractures requiring surgical treatment, says a study.

The study found an important link between low Vitamin D levels and the severity of fractures in children caused by low-energy, less traumatic events such as falling off a bike or falling while running.

Fractures in children are very common, with some estimates as high as 50 per cent of boys and 40 per cent of girls having at least one fracture by the age of 18.

Of these fractures, the forearm is the most common site, accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all paediatric fractures in the US, the researchers found.

“Not only are forearm fractures common in children, but so is vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency,” said Pooya Hosseinzadeh, Assistant Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US.

“Knowing that vitamin D deficiency can lead to negative calcium balance, low bone mineral density and quality leading to compromised bone strength, it makes sense for patients to be more susceptible to fractures at lower impact load and more susceptible to greater severity when fractures do occur,” Hosseinzadeh added.

The study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2018, included 100 children between three to 15 years of age, diagnosed with low-energy forearm fractures.

Each participant filled out a questionnaire focusing on risk factors for Vitamin D deficiency. The fractures were then categorised as requiring non-operative or operative management.

The result showed that being Vitamin D deficient was associated with a greater risk of needing operative management.

Also, being overweight increased the likelihood of Vitamin D deficiency.

“If a child does have a forearm fracture, we would encourage the physician to check the patient’s vitamin D levels. Children can reduce deficiency with a Vitamin D supplement and increasing outdoor activity,” Hosseinzadeh explained.