This is a guest blog post by Dr. Mark Strand, IH Section Councilor and Professor in the Pharmacy Practice and Master of Public Health Departments at North Dakota State University.
For the last fifteen years, I have collaborated with a group of scholars to research and prevent nutritional rickets in children. Recently our newest paper was published, a look at the global burden of disease due to rickets, and prospects for reducing this preventable disease of poverty. Rickets is caused by insufficient circulating 25-OH-D (vitamin D levels), as a result of insufficient sun exposure, high amounts of melanin in the skin, or both; as well as inadequate intake of dietary calcium. Therefore, the condition begins at birth in children facing these conditions, and worsens up to age 2 or 3, when self-selection of food, and outdoor play, tend to slow or stop the progression. However, during that time these children have higher rates of pneumonia and other preventable conditions, and if severe, will maintain the skeletal deformities for life.
I am deeply committed to research which provides scientific evidence to explain causes of disease and burden among underserved and vulnerable populations. This has been one of my more satisfying contributions.
My colleagues and I published this paper on nutritional rickets nearly ten years ago: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7282059_Nutritional_rickets_around_the_world_Causes_and_future_directions
Here is a link to our newest article: