Children with naturally dark skin or inadequate exposure to sunlight are among those most commonly affected. Having a mother with vitamin D deficiency also increases a child’s risk. Other causes may be nutritional deficiencies and disorders of the liver, kidney or small intestine. A similar condition can occur in adults, but this is called osteomalacia. Osteomalacia affects almost 70 million Chinese over the age of 50 and causes some 687,000 hip fractures in China each year. From 1988 to 1992, the incidence of hip fractures in Beijing increased by 34% in women and 33% in men.
There is a higher incidence of hip fractures in men than in women in China. The overall prevalence of osteomalacia in mainland China might be approximately 7% among adults, 10-20% in urban areas, 22.5% among men aged 50 years or more, and 50.1% among women aged 50 years or more Treatment options for rickets include: • Improved sunlight exposure • Improved diet that includes adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D