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The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency across Australian populations is only partly explained by season and latitude

van der Mei, Ingrid A. F., Ponsonby, Anne-Louise, Engelsen, Ola, Pasco, Julie A., McGrath, John J., Eyles, Daryl W., Blizzard, Leigh, Dwyer, Terence, Lucas, Robyn and Jones, Graeme 2007, The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency across Australian populations is only partly explained by season and latitude, Environmental health perspectives, vol. 115, no. 8, pp. 1132-1139.

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Title The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency across Australian populations is only partly explained by season and latitude
Author(s) van der Mei, Ingrid A. F.
Ponsonby, Anne-Louise
Engelsen, Ola
Pasco, Julie A.
McGrath, John J.
Eyles, Daryl W.
Blizzard, Leigh
Dwyer, Terence
Lucas, Robyn
Jones, Graeme
Journal name Environmental health perspectives
Volume number 115
Issue number 8
Start page 1132
End page 1139
Total pages 8
Publisher U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Place of publication Research Triangle Park, N.C.
Publication date 2007-08
ISSN 0091-6765
1552-9924
Keyword(s) 25(OH)D
behavior
latitude
UV index
UVR
vitamin D
vitamin D index
Summary Background Inadequate sun exposure and dietary vitamin D intake can result in vitamin D insufficiency. However, limited data are available on actual vitamin D status and predictors in healthy individuals in different regions and by season.

Methods
We compared vitamin D status [25-hydroxyvitamin D; 25(OH)D] in people < 60 years of age using data from cross-sectional studies of three regions across Australia: southeast Queensland (27°S; 167 females and 211 males), Geelong region (38°S; 561 females), and Tasmania (43°S; 432 females and 298 males).

Results
The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (≤ 50 nmol/L) in women in winter/spring was 40.5% in southeast Queensland, 37.4% in the Geelong region, and 67.3% in Tasmania. Season, simulated maximum daily duration of vitamin D synthesis, and vitamin D effective daily dose each explained around 14% of the variation in 25(OH)D. Although latitude explained only 3.9% of the variation, a decrease in average 25(OH)D of 1.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.7–1.3) nmol/L for every degree increase in latitude may be clinically relevant. In some months, we found a high insufficiency or even deficiency when sun exposure protection would be recommended on the basis of the simulated ultraviolet index.

Conclusion Vitamin D insufficiency is common over a wide latitude range in Australia. Season appears to be more important than latitude, but both accounted for less than one-fifth of the variation in serum 25(OH)D levels, highlighting the importance of behavioral factors. Current sun exposure guidelines do not seem to fully prevent vitamin D insufficiency, and consideration should be given to their modification or to pursuing other means to achieve vitamin D adequacy.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30042839

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
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