noun[mass noun treated as singular or plural] Medicine
A disease of children caused by vitamin D deficiency, characterized by imperfect calcification, softening, and distortion of the bones typically resulting in bow legs.
- To absorb calcium, the body needs adequate vitamin D. Lack of either can cause bone diseases such as rickets in children and osteoporosis in older people.
- Its founder, Joseph Pilates, was born in Dusseldorf in 1880 and despite being a rather sickly child who suffered from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever, he lived to the age of 87.
- Exclusively breastfed infants are at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency and rickets.
Mid 17th century: perhaps an alteration of Greek rhakhitis (see rachitis).
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