Topics > Healthcare > Rickets

Rickets


Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in children. It causes bone pain, poor growth and soft, weak bones that can lead to bone deformities. Adults can experience a similar condition, which is known as osteomalacia. The most common cause of rickets is a vitamin D deficiency, which can result from eating a diet without enough vitamin D, or too little sun exposure. Rarer hereditary genetic forms of the disease also exist.

Whilst Rickets can still a problem today, it was much more prevalent in the past. The disease was described in the mid-17th century. Then, during the 18th and 19th centuries, rickets became increasingly common in the growing urban areas of industrialized nations. Rickets remained widespread until the fortification of milk and other foods with Vitamin D and calcium, which was introduced in the 1940s, during the Second World War, in Britain and North America. In the 1940s and 1950s, children were sometimes treated with artificially generated ultra-violet rays ('Sunray' therapy) to prevent rickets.

Healthcare Childhood Wallsend Health Centre, The Green, Wallsend
from https://wellcomecollection.or…
Great deformity of the legs due to rickets
- Licence: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Credit: Great deformity of the legs due to rickets. St Bartholomew's Hospital Archives & Museum. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
Skeleton of an adult female with osteomalacia (rickets) 1857

Pinned by Simon Cotterill
from https://wellcomecollection.or…
A treatise of the rickets : being a disease common to children. (first published, 1651)
- Licence: Public Domain Mark Credit: A treatise of the rickets : being a disease common to children / Published in Latin by F. Glisson, G. Bate, and A. Regemorter. Translated …

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Simon Cotterill
from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions…
Rickets and osteomalacia
- Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in children. It causes bone pain, poor growth and soft, weak bones that can lead to bone deformities. Adults can experience a …

Added by
Simon Cotterill
from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/…
Resurrection of vitamin D deficiency and rickets
- Holick MF. Resurrection of vitamin D deficiency and rickets. J Clin Invest. 2006 Aug;116(8):2062-72. doi: 10.1172/JCI29449. PMID: 16886050; PMCID: PMC1523417. "The epidemic scourge of rickets in the 19th century was …

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Simon Cotterill
from Flickr (flickr)
What happens when children don’t get enough calcium over extended periods of time? They end up suffering from rickets, a defective calcification of bones in immature mammals which can lead to fractures and deformity because of “soft” bones. The predominan

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Rickets

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