Return of rickets in children
Top children's surgeon says the 'poverty' linked bone disease has returned in Southampton
15th November 2010 - A poverty-linked bone disease which disappeared from the UK over 80 years ago but resurfaced in northern parts of the country earlier this year, is now being discovered in high numbers of young patients in Southampton.
The disease is due to low vitamin D levels caused predominantly by lack of exposure to sunlight and also poor diet.
Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to sunlight. It also occurs naturally in a few foods -- including fish, fish liver oils and egg yolks -- and in fortified dairy and grain products
Rickets is among the most frequent childhood disease in many developing countries.
Professor Nicholas Clarke, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital and professor of paediatric orthopaedic surgery at the University of Southampton said in a statement: “The return of rickets in northern parts of the UK came as a surprise despite the colder climate and lower levels of sunshine in the north, but what has developed in Southampton is quite astonishing.”