BONE MINERAL DENSITY AND VITAMIN D RECEPTOR GENETIC VARIANTS IN EGYPTIAN CHILDREN WITH BETA THALASSEMIA ON VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTATION

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Hadeer A Abbassy
Reham Abdel Haleem Abo Elwafa *
Omneya Magdy Omar
(*) Corresponding Author:
Reham Abdel Haleem Abo Elwafa | rehamhalem@hotmail.com

Abstract

Background: Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a characteristic feature of Beta thalassemia major (βTM) patients. Vitamin D is important for bone mineralization. Vitamin D receptors (VDR) genetic variants may be related to vitamin D status and BMD.

Objectives:  To evaluate the effect of VDR genetic variants on vitamin D levels and BMD in βTM Egyptian patients supplemented with vitamin D.

Methods: This study was conducted on forty children with βTM and forty unrelated healthy sex and age-matched controls. Serum calcium, phosphorus, ALP, ferritin and vitamin D were measured. VDR genetic variants (BsmI, TaqI, and FokI) were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray densitometry (DEXA) of the lumbar spine.

Results: In βTM patients, 22.5% had deficient, 50% had insufficient and only 27.5% had sufficient levels of vitamin D. BMD Z score was significantly lower in βTM patients compared to controls (p<0.001). Osteopenia and osteoporosis of lumbar spines were observed in 70% and 22.5% of βTM patients respectively. BsmI bb and FokI Ff and ff genotypic variants were significantly associated with lower vitamin D and BMD Z score. No association was observed with TaqI genotypic variants.

Conclusions: We reported a high prevalence of low BMD in βTM despite vitamin D supplementation. The BsmI bb, FokI Ff and ff genotypic variants of VDR can be considered as risk factors for the occurrence of osteoporosis in these children. Vitamin D doses should be adjusted individually according to the genetic makeup of each patient.


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