Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundChildren living in sub-Saharan Africa have a high burden of rickets and infectious diseases, conditions that are linked to vitamin D deficiency. However, data on the vitamin D status of young African children and its environmental and genetic predictors are limited. We aimed to examine the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency in young African children.MethodsWe measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and typed the single nucleotide polymorphisms, rs4588 and rs7041, in the GC gene encoding the vitamin D binding protein (DBP) in 4509 children aged 0-8 years living in Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso, The Gambia and South Africa. We evaluated associations between vitamin D status and country, age, sex, season, anthropometric indices, inflammation, malaria and DBP haplotypes in regression analyses.ResultsMedian age was 23.9 months (interquartile range [IQR] 12.3, 35.9). Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency using 25(OH)D cut-offs of ConclusionsApproximately 0.6% and 7.8% of young African children were vitamin D deficient as defined by 25(OH)D levels

Original publication




Journal article


BMC medicine

Publication Date





Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Centre for Geographic Medicine Coast, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya.


Humans, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D, Vitamin D-Binding Protein, Prevalence, Seasons, Haplotypes, Adult, Child, Child, Preschool, South Africa, Young Adult