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

  • Author / Creator
    MacDonald, Krista M
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.