Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause UTI in Children? Chromatography Explores
Aug 17 2021
Anyone who has suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI) will be familiar with the piercing, burning sensation and an increased urge to use the toilet. Needless to say, those symptoms are even worse for children, with a lower pain threshold and an inability to understand why exactly it’s happening.
In truth, even doctors might not be able to pinpoint what’s behind UTI – other than it being caused by a bacterial infection in the bladder and/or kidneys. However, a recent study in Pakistan suggests there may be a link between Vitamin D levels and UTI diagnosis…
Analysing vitamin D levels of UTI patients
Between July 2019 and March 2020, researchers undertook a cross-sectional study of 172 children at the Liaquat University Hospital’s Pediatric Department. Aged between 2 and 60 months (41.51 months on average), all children had a positive urine C/S report for UTI.
Any children already identified as having vitamin D deficiency were excluded from the study. As well as noting symptoms of children with UTI, participants’ blood samples were evaluated for vitamin D levels using high performance liquid chromatography. Vitamin D is already linked to various issues such as fatigue, muscle weakness and even poor mental health.
The advent of portable HPLC tools to allow for analysis of samples at source is discussed in the article ‘Experience and Applications of a New Portable HPLC Machine’.
Vitamin D, UTI and E. Coli
The study found that around 87% of children with UTI had a fever, while symptoms of abdominal pain and dysuria were present in just under 13% and 9% respectively. In terms of UTI type, 75% had pyelonephritis – an infection of the kidneys caused by bacteria from the bladder – compared to 25% with cystitis.
Most notably, however, almost half of the children tested (45.93%) had vitamin D deficiency. That was broken down to mild deficiency in 42 children and moderate deficiency in 55 participants. Put simply, the frequency of UTI is more common in children who have vitamin D deficiency.
Looking more closely, the most common pathogen detected in those who tested deficient for vitamin D was E. Coli. It was present for 20 children with mild deficiency and 31 of those with moderate deficiency.
E. Coli is the most common causative pathogen for pyelonephritis and cystitis, which are both types of UTI. The link between vitamin D and E. Coli could be key in helping reduce UTI rates in children, as well as the various other issues related to vitamin D deficiency.
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