Quick View: Vitamin D deficiency in critically ill children: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Published on MedED:  27 August 21
Type of article: Clinical Study Summary

MedED Catalogue Reference: MPN003
Compiler: Linda Ravenhill 
Sources: Critical Care

Vitamin D deficiency or VDD is a well-established cause of disease. Although severe deficiency is now rare, the occurrence of sub-clinical VDD in many adults and children “..may predispose them to neurologic, cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune pathology.”

This systematic review conducted by McNally et al. in 2017, published in Critical Care, sought to determine the frequency of Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) in paediatric critical illness and its associated clinical outcomes.

The study postulates that because of the effect of VDD on critical organ systems essential to the development of and recovery from critical illness, VDD has been hypothesized to be a risk factor for morbidity and mortality in the intensive care unit (ICU).

It considered 17 studies from 8 countries and five continents.  VDD was defined as a blood total 25(OH) D concentration under 50 nmol/L. 

The review determined that 50% of critically ill children have VDD at the time of ICU admission. This deficiency was associated with illness severity, increased need for ICU intervention, and increased mortality. ( OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.11–2.36)

You may find the below-associated content of interest

 Vitamin D Levels and Early Onset Sepsis in Newborns

McNally, J. D., Nama, N., O’Hearn, K., Sampson, M., Amrein, K., Iliriani, K. Menon , K. (2017, Nov 23). Vitamin Deficiency in critically ill children: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Critical Care, 21, 287. Accessed 27 August 21. Retrieved from 


Contributor: Linda Ravenhill
Linda Ravenhill is a medical professional with an MA in Journalism. She has worked in the medical, technology and digital development spaces for over 25 years, & has a particular interest in the impact of technology on the delivery of healthcare in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

This article is compiled from a variety of resources researched and compiled by the contributor. It is in no way presented as an original work.  Every effort has been made to correctly attribute quotes and content. Where possible all information has been independently verified. The Medical Education Network bears no responsibility for any inaccuracies which may occur from the use of third-party sources. If you have any queries regarding this article contact us 

Fact-checking Policy
The Medical Education Network makes every effort to review and fact-check the articles used as source material in our summaries and original material. We have strict guidelines in relation to the publications we use as our source data, favouring peer-reviewed research wherever possible. Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained here is an accurate reflection of the original material. Should you find inaccuracies, out of date content or have any additional issues with our articles, please make use of the contact us form to notify us.

Most Viewed Articles

Ethics & New Media
Aug 19, 2015
Rapid SSL

The Medical Education Network
Powered by LiveCAST, a VisualLive Solution