Vitamin D deficiency, results in abnormalities in calcium, phosphorus, and bone metabolism and affects 1 billion people worldwide across all ethnicities and age groups. There are several general population groups at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency including: breast-fed Infants, older adults, dark skinned people, limited sun exposure and obesity. Vitamin D is vital for the growth and health of bone, without it, bones will be soft, malformed and unable to repair themselves normally, resulting in the disease called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
A lack of vitamin D also causes muscle weakness; affected children have difficulties standing and walking and the elderly have more frequent falls, increasing the risk of fracture. Newer studies show that a low vitamin D status has been linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, cognitive decline, depression, pregnancy complications, autoimmunity, allergy and even frailty. Low prenatal and neonatal vitamin D status may also increase susceptibility to schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis (MS) in later life.
Our comprehensive calcium metabolism panel enables laboratories to measure vitamin D deficiencies in line with the Clinical Practice Guidelines set by the Endocrine Society.
Measuring the level of 25(OH)D is the initial diagnostic test for patients at risk of deficiency. For patients with chronic kidney disease and vitamin D deficiency, PTH and serum calcium levels should be monitored in addition to 25(OH)D.