Contact: Peter Patterson
(202) 835-8718
800-892-1400 ext. 1718
Email: ppatterson@aacc.org

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Washington, DC, December 7, 2011 The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) announces a webinar, An Update on Clinical Applications for Vitamin D Assays, to be held on January 26, 2012 at 2:00pm Eastern. There is growing concern in the US and worldwide about vitamin D deficiency in children and adults. In children, it is a common cause of the bone deformities known as rickets, and in adults it can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. Beyond bone health, other issues including muscle strength, cancer risk and type 2 diabetes are being studied. There are various causes of vitamin D deficiency including diet and, in children particularly, the use of high factor sunblock due to parents’ fears about skin cancer, and an increasingly indoor lifestyle.

Vitamin D deficiency is leading to an increase in clinician demands for vitamin D testing with some laboratories reporting having performed more than double the tests than just one year ago. For the laboratory there are two related considerations to the testing: application of the test results by the patient’s physician; and bringing the testing in-house. Vitamin D is a high-volume assay in clinical laboratories around the world, but proper application of test results requires some caveats for health care professionals. Laboratories must manage the standardization issues and analytical challenges involved in this type of testing, and must also understand the expectations of their clinical colleagues for vitamin D testing. Likewise, clinicians must appreciate how assay standardization and biological variability can affect vitamin D test results and the implications in applying those results to patient management. Vitamin D testing has traditionally been outsourced by laboratories but the increased level of testing means that they are seeing the potential for a new revenue source for themselves and looking at doing the testing themselves.

AACCs has brought together two experts for this webinar: Mark D. Kellogg, PhD, DABCC, FACB, Associate Director of Chemistry, Children’s Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, and Michael Kleerekoper, MD, MACE, Clinical Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI and Chief Medical Officer, MicroMRI, Inc. in Langhorne, PA. Together, they will address the issues facing the laboratory in understanding today’s testing technologies to overcome the analytical challenges these assays pose, and in learning how to consult effectively with clinicians to interpret test results.

AACC invites journalists reporting on vitamin D deficiency and its implications for the clinical laboratory to attend this important webinar. For a complimentary registration, complete and submit a Press Registration Form. For more information about the webinar or AACC, contact Peter Patterson by email or on either of the above phone numbers.

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AACC is a leading professional society dedicated to improving healthcare through laboratory medicine. Its over 9,000 members are clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and others involved in developing tests and directing laboratory operations. AACC brings this community together with programs that advance knowledge, expertise, and innovation.