Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in survivors of childhood cancer

Abha Choudhary, Joanne Chou, Glenn Heller, Charles Sklar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Data on 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) status among survivors of childhood cancer are limited. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for 25-OH D insufficiency in a large, diverse population of cancer survivors being followed in a childhood cancer survivor clinic. Procedure: Retrospective chart review in survivors seen for routine long-term follow-up, who underwent routine screening blood studies including 25-OH D levels. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as 25-OH D <20ng/ml. Results: Four hundred eighty-four subjects (234 males) were evaluable for this analysis. Median age at 25-OH D testing was 12.3 years (2.05-36.4) and median age at cancer diagnosis was 3.9 years (0-18). Diagnoses included brain tumors (23.6%), neuroblastoma (21%), and leukemia (17.6%). Mean 25-OH D level was 25.2ng/ml (SD=10.37); 29% of subjects were 25-OH D insufficient. In univariate analysis, race, pubertal status, and age at cancer diagnosis were associated with 25-OH D insufficiency (P<0.05). In multivariate analysis, a model including race and pubertal status provided a good fit for the data. Conclusions: The prevalence of 25-OH D insufficiency in these cancer survivors was high but similar to what has been described in the general population. No cancer specific variables were associated with 25-OH D insufficiency. Since cancer survivors are at a higher risk for subsequent malignancies, cardiovascular disease, and low bone mineral density, all of which may be affected by 25-OH D levels, interventions to improve 25-OH D status in this vulnerable population are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1239
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Cancer survivors
  • Prevalence
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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