Seasonal variance of 25-OH vitamin D in the general population of Estonia, a Northern European countryReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 9:22

First Online: 19 January 2009Received: 13 August 2008Accepted: 19 January 2009DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-9-22

Cite this article as: Kull, M., Kallikorm, R., Tamm, A. et al. BMC Public Health 2009 9: 22. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-9-22


BackgroundVitamin D has a wide variety of physiological functions in the human body. There is increasing evidence that low serum levels of this vitamin have an important role in the pathogenesis of different skeletal and extra-skeletal diseases. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is common at northern latitudes. There are few population-based studies in the northern European region looking at the issue in a wider age group. We aimed to measure Vitamin D level in the general population of Estonia latitude 59°N, a North-European country where dairy products are not fortified with vitamin D.

MethodsThe study subjects were a population-based random selection of 367 individuals 200 women and 167 men, mean age 48.9 ± 12.2 years, range 25–70 years from the registers of general health care providers. 25-OH vitamin D 25OHD level and parathyroid hormone PTH were measured in summer and in winter. Additionally age, sex, body mass index BMI and self-reported sunbathing habits were recorded.

ResultsThe mean serum 25OHD concentration in winter was 43.7 ± 15 nmol-L and in summer 59.3 ± 18 nmol-L p < 0.0001. In winter 73% of the subjects had 25OHD insufficiency 25OHD concentration below 50 nmol-L and 8% had deficiency 25OHD below 25 nmol-L. The corresponding percentages in summer were 29% for insufficiency and less than 1% for deficiency. PTH reached a plateau at around 80 nmol-L. BMI and age were inversely associated with 25OHD, but lost significance when adjusted for sunbathing habits. A difference in the seasonal 25OHD amplitude between genders p = 0.01 was revealed.

ConclusionVitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent throughout the year in a population without vitamin D dairy fortification living at the latitude of 59°N.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-9-22 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Mart KullJr - Riina Kallikorm - Anu Tamm - Margus Lember


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