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Learn how to manage vitamin D deficiency without overtreating :

September 27, 2018
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Editor's note:The 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition will take place from Nov. 2-6 in Orlando.

Jyothsna Gattineni, M.D., FAAP, and Michael A. Levine, M.D., FAAP, will present “Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency (S1125)” from 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 in room W311CD of the convention center.

Dr. Gattineni is a member of the AAP Section on Nephrology and associate professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Levine is director of the Center for Bone Health at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

In the following Q&A, Dr. Gattineni summarizes what they plan to discuss during the seminar and why this session is important for pediatricians.

Q: What are the key things you will be covering during the session?

A: We will be discussing the physiology and regulation of vitamin D; the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children, including nutritional rickets; and risk factors for vitamin D deficiency in children.

We also will discuss treatment options for vitamin D deficiency; the side effects of overtreating children with vitamin D, including increased risk of hypercalcemia and kidney stones in certain groups of children; the role of vitamin D in patients with chronic kidney disease; and effects of vitamin D in extraskeletal organs especially the immune system.

Q: Why should pediatricians attend this session?

A: Pediatricians are on the front line to identify and treat children with vitamin D deficiency. Thus, it will be useful for pediatricians to understand the physiology and vitamin D homeostasis and how to manage vitamin D deficiency while avoiding complications of vitamin D excess.

Q: How did you get interested in vitamin D deficiency?

A: I got interested in vitamin D deficiency due to my exposure to a patient with rickets during my fellowship. In addition, during my fellowship, my research was focused on identifying the receptors that fibroblast growth factor 23 binds to in the kidney to regulate vitamin D homeostasis. Fibroblast growth factor 23 is a hormone that is produced by the kidneys and decreases the circulating levels of 1,25 vitamin D, the active form of vitamin D.

Q: What is the take-home message of the session?

A: Vitamin D deficiency should be recognized early on to prevent bony deformities and growth delay in children. Once recognized, vitamin D repletion should be initiated promptly. Prevention and early identification of vitamin D deficiency is critical especially in high-risk populations like children of dark skin, children of malnourished mothers, malnourished children and children who have limited exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency also should be corrected in other diseases, including renal disease and immunological disorders.

For more coverage of the 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition visit http://www.aappublications.org/content/aap-national-conference-2018 and follow @AAPNews on Twitter and Facebook.

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