Recent data suggest that cow’s milk allergy (CMA) has become more persistent, prolonging treatment via strict elimination of cow’s milk products into a period of skeletal growth. The objectives of this study were to compare bone mineral density (BMD), vitamin D status, and dietary intakes of calcium and vitamin D between prepubertal children with persistent CMA and those with non–cow’s milk food allergies (NCMA) as control subjects and to assess the use of and compliance to calcium and vitamin D supplementation among children with persistent CMA.
Fifty-two children with persistent CMA and 29 with NCMA were recruited. BMD was measured by using dual energy radiograph absorptiometry, and vitamin D status was assessed by using plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations. Calcium and vitamin D intakes, as well as compliance to calcium and vitamin D supplementation, were recorded.
Lumbar spine BMD z scores were significantly lower in children with CMA. Low bone mass was detected in 6% of the CMA group compared with none in the NCMA group. Children with CMA displayed significantly lower calcium intakes than control subjects. Vitamin D status was not reduced in children with CMA compared with control subjects. Fewer than one-half of children with CMA reported the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. However, adherence was high among supplement users, with a mean compliance rate of 5.5 days per week.
These prepubertal children with persistent CMA had lower lumbar spine BMD z scores than children with NCMA, which likely resulted from lower calcium intake.