chapter  7
33 Pages

Public Health Concerns Related to Vitamin K Status

WithJohn W. Suttie

This chapter suggests that the risk of cancer was doubled in infants receiving vitamin K intramuscularly and that oral administration of vitamin K should be the prophylaxis of choice. A vitamin K-responsive human hypoprothrombinemia is a rare finding as the adult human population normally consumes a diet containing an amount of vitamin K in excess of that needed to maintain normal hemostasis. Vitamin K-responsive hemorrhagic events have frequently been reported in patients receiving antibiotics and have been reviewed extensively. The one clearly defined vitamin K-related deficiency, hemorrhagic disease of the healthy newborn, is an example of an extremely successful public health effort. As osteocalcin is present in relatively high concentrations in bone, a great deal of attention has been directed toward the concentration of osteocalcin in plasma and to the degree of vitamin K-dependent carboxylation of the protein as possible factors in bone health.