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Vitamin D Status and Markers of Cardiometabolic and Liver Disease Risk in Childhood Obesity Open Access


Other title
Prader-Willi Syndrome
Vitamin D
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
MacDonald, Krista M
Supervisor and department
Mager, Diana (Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science/Pediatrics)
Haqq, Andrea (Pediatrics)
Examining committee member and department
Mazurak, Vera (Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science)
Yap, Jason (Pediatrics)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Nutrition and Metabolism
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
Vitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent in children (up to 40%), particularly in northern climates such as Alberta, due to reduced sunlight exposure and low intake. Although suboptimal vitamin D status and metabolic dysregulation are commonly observed in obesity, little is known about the interrelationships between vitamin D and body composition and the prevalence of co-morbid conditions (mental health disorders, cardiometabolic and liver dysfunction) in pediatric obesity. Two studies will be described. The first study is a retrospective chart review (n=217) of obese children attending the Pediatric Centre for Weight and Health (PCWH) at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. The second study focuses on two clinical populations of pediatric obesity: children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). Study findings indicate that rates of vitamin D insufficiency in obese children in Alberta (30-50%) are similar to levels in the general population, indicating that vitamin D status in children is independent of total body adiposity or the presence of co-morbid conditions such as mental health disorders. Children with PWS showed significantly lower muscle strength/muscle function compared to obese children with NAFLD or lean healthy children, and this was independent of overall vitamin D status. However, vitamin D insufficiency was related to an increased prevalence of hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance and elevated systolic blood pressure in overweight and obese children, with/without the presence of other co-morbid conditions such as NAFLD or PWS. This has significant potential health policy implications in terms of the prevention and treatment of co-morbid conditions in childhood obesity.
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