Case Report: Children with Severe Nutritional Rickets in the Naga Region in Northwest Myanmar, on the border with India.
Aung H., Soe K., Smithuis FF., Lamb T., Aung MW., Smithuis FM.
Rickets is an often-neglected, painful, and disabling childhood condition of impaired bone mineralization. In this case series we describe a cluster of 29 children with severe, painful bone deformities who live in the very remote region of Nagaland in northwest Myanmar. Children were found to have low 25-hydroxyvitamin D, elevated parathyroid hormone, and elevated alkaline phosphatase levels, consistent with nutritional rickets secondary to vitamin D deficiency, calcium deficiency, or a combination of the two. After treatment with vitamin D3 and calcium carbonate, significant improvement was seen in symptoms, biochemistry, and radiography. This is the first report of nutritional rickets in Myanmar in more than 120 years. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and food fortification for pregnant women and young children may be required to prevent this potentially devastating disease.