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

van der Mei, I. A. F., Ponsonby, A., Engelsen, O., Pasco, J. A., McGrath, J. J., Eyles, D. W., Blizzard, L., Dwyer, T., Lucas, R. and Jones, G. (2007) The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency across Australian populations is only partly explained by season and latitude. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115 8: 1132-1139. doi:10.1289/ehp.9937

Author van der Mei, I. A. F.
Ponsonby, A.
Engelsen, O.
Pasco, J. A.
McGrath, J. J.
Eyles, D. W.
Blizzard, L.
Dwyer, T.
Lucas, R.
Jones, G.
Title The high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency across Australian populations is only partly explained by season and latitude
Journal name Environmental Health Perspectives   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0091-6765
Publication date 2007-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1289/ehp.9937
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 115
Issue 8
Start page 1132
End page 1139
Total pages 8
Editor Goehl, T. J.
Place of publication Res Triangle Pk, United States
Publisher U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Language eng
Subject 321204 Mental Health
730211 Mental health
Abstract 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)DI in people < 60 years of age using data from cross-sectional studies of three regions across Australia: southeast Queensland (27 degrees S; 167 females and 211 males), Geelong region (38 degrees S; 561 females), and Tasmania (43 degrees 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.
Keyword Environmental Sciences
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Sun Exposure
D Deficiency
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2008 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Created: Fri, 28 Mar 2008, 01:16:23 EST by Carmel Meir on behalf of School of Medicine