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Rickets warning for immigrants

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Health visitors and practice nurses must ensure parents are aware of the dangers of rickets, argue doctors in Scotland, following a jump in cases from immigrant families.

Health visitors and practice nurses must ensure parents are aware of the dangers of rickets, argue doctors in Scotland, following a jump in cases from immigrant families.

Scott Williamson and Stephen Greene from Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, said they had diagnosed vitamin D deficient rickets in five infants in Tayside over the last four months.

They said none of their families were unaware of the need for vitamin D supplementation, despite government recommendations for its universal use in breastfeeding infants. It is particularly important for those of Asian, African, Afro-Caribbean, or Middle Eastern origin with reduced exposure to sunlight, they said.

'We must disseminate the message to all health visitors and general practitioners across the UK,' they warned.

BMJ (2007) 334: 1288

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