Research Article

Screening Rastafarian children for nutritional rickets.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 23 March 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:899
  1. J A James,
  2. C Clark,
  3. P S Ward


    We examined 42 Rastafarian children under 5 years of age who were registered with a single inner city general practice to determine the prevalence of nutritional rickets. Twenty children were receiving a strict vegan(I-tal) diet and were considered to be at high risk of developing rickets and were referred for biochemical and radiological investigation. Seven of 20 children investigated had rickets, giving an overall prevalence of 7/42. Treatment with oral cholecalciferol was successful in all seven children. Fourteen out of 18 children had evidence of iron deficiency, with low haemoglobin concentrations and hypochromic-microcytic blood films. Before this study Rastafarian children rarely attended the well baby clinic, received no vitamin supplements, and few had been immunised. They now regularly attend the clinic, receive vitamin and iron supplements, and all have completed primary immunisation.