Fluoride Action Network


Although endemic skeletal fluorosis has been reported in children, hypocalcemia has not been previously noted. In a prevalence study of 260 schoolchildren living in an endemic fluorosis area in South Africa (water fluoride content 8-12 ppm), hypocalcemia was documented in 23%. Furthermore in a separate study of nine children with skeletal symptoms due to endemic fluorosis, hypocalcemia was found in six. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D levels were elevated in the seven children in whom it was measured. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulation tests on admission revealed evidence of impaired phosphaturic responses, typical of acquired pseudohypoparathyroidism type II, and a direct correlation between serum calcium values and the degree of phosphaturia was noted. Repeat tests performed in two of the children after correction of the hypocalcemia by dietary means, revealed a return of normal renal responsiveness. Serum calcium values also correlated inversely with the degree of osteomalacia on iliac crest bone histomorphometry. It is suggested that low dietary calcium intakes might exacerbate the severity of the bone lesions in children living in areas of endemic fluorosis.