Washington: People on oral steroids are twice as likely to suffer from severe vitamin D deficiency than the general populace, says new research.The study on 31,000 children and adults, suggests that physicians should monitor vitamin D levels more diligently in patients being treated with oral steroids.When doctors prescribe steroids, they should also get the vitamin D level of patients measured, said Amy Skversky, assistant professor of paediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.Severe vitamin D deficiency is known to be linked with bone softening, rickets, and muscle weakness.Steroids have been shown to cause vitamin D deficiency, possibly by increasing levels of an enzyme that inactivates the vitamin, according to an Einstein College statement.Smaller studies involving people often prescribed steroids (children with asthma and patients with Crohn`s disease and lupus) have found significantly reduced vitamin D levels in them, reports The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
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