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Page last updated at 07:25 GMT, Friday, 20 April 2012 08:25 UK

What is rickets?

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A couple acquitted of murdering their baby son have called for an inquiry into two London hospitals responsible for his care.

Rohan Wray and his wife Channa, from Islington in north London, were accused of killing their four-month-old son Jayden in July 2009 - it was later established he had severe rickets.

Stephen Nussey, professor of Endocrinology at St Georges Hospital in London, explained that rickets is a severe aspect of vitamin D deficiency.

Twisted bones and bone degeneration are a feature of the disease and Professor Nussey said that it was only recognised in the early part of the 20th century.

"Britain had little or no rickets in the 1950s because of supplementation," he said.

In the UK "between October and May virtually no-one makes vitamin D because of the sunlight" regardless of your skin colour, so Vitamin D levels are dependent on dietary intake, he said.

Guidelines suggest that all pregnant and lactating women should take Vitamin D and Professor Nussey said many working in the field believe there has been a resurgence of the disease is related to the fact that recommendation is not followed.


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