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Vitamin D deficiency linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Radio 4’s Today programme reports on new research

The BBC Radio 4 programme Today has reported that two senior paediatric pathologists claim to have discovered Vitamin D deficiency in a significant number of children who have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Dr Irene Scheimberg and Dr Marta Cohen say that vitamin D deficiency and associated diseases, such as the bone disease rickets, might explain deaths and injuries that are often thought to be suspicious. They have called for further research into the possible link.

Dr Scheimberg told the programme:

"I think there should be a commission that studies all these cases [which would] take into consideration the age of the children, the gender, the race and the way in which the way these families live – particularly when the children are still alive and living in foster care when they could be back with their families."

Dr Scheimberg gave evidence in the trial of Chana Al-Alas and Rohan Wray who were acquitted in 2009 of murdering their son, Jayden, by shaking him. Dr Scheimberg found congenital rickets in Jayden, four months old at the time of his death, and also in his mother.

Full details of this news item can be read here.