Introduction: Much attention has been paid to the association between valproic acid treatment and bone health. The objective of this study is to compare the serum vitamin D3 level in the epileptic children under valproic acid treatment with the healthy control group.
Methods: A case-control study has been carried out to compare vitamin D3 levels in 50 epileptic children who were treated with valproic acid with 50 healthy children selected from children visiting the hospital for routine checkup as control group.
Results: 100 cases with the mean age of 7.57± 3.62 years (range: 2 – 15 years) were studied (44% boys). Among the 50 epileptic cases; 41 (82%) had generalized and 9 (18%) had partial seizure (56% well controlled and 44% poorly controlled). 15 (30%) of epileptic cases were using anti-epileptic drugs for 6-12 months, 36% for 12-24 months, and 34% for more than 24 months. The case and control groups were similar regarding gender (p =0.99), age (p = 0.24), and BMI (p = 0.64). 49 (49%) patients had some grade of vitamin D3 deficiency. There was a significant difference between case and control groups regarding vitamin D3 levels (p = 0.001). None of the controls had severe vitamin D3 deficiency, while 14% of cases did. 36 (72%) individuals in control group had sufficient or optimal vitamin D3 levels; while only 15 (30%) case patients had such levels. Generally, the control group had higher vitamin D3 levels in comparison to case group (p = 0.001).
Conclusions: The study revealed that there was a higher prevalence of vitamin D3 insufficiency in epileptic children receiving valproate monotherapy compared with healthy children. Vitamin D3 supplementation should be given to all epileptic children even before initiation of anti-epileptic drugs.
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