Vitamin D status in apparently healthy adults in Kashmir Valley of Indian subcontinent
- 1 Department of Endocrinology, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
- 2 Department of Immunology, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
- Professor A H Zargar, Department of Endocrinology, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, PO Box 1098, GPO Srinagar 190001, Kashmir, India;
- Received 27 February 2007
- Accepted 18 July 2007
Background: The worldwide prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is reported to be high.
Objectives: To assess the vitamin D status in apparently healthy adults in Kashmir valley by measuring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D 25 OH D.
Methods: 92 healthy natives 64 men and 28 non-pregnant/non-lactating women, aged 1840 years, residing in Kashmir for at least last 5 years and not having any suggestion of systemic disease, were selected for this study. The samples were collected throughout the year in both summer and winter months. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25 OH D concentration of <50 nmol/l and graded as mild 2550 nmol/l, moderate 12.525 nmol/l and severe <12.5 nmol/l.
Results: Body mass index, total energy intake, and other nutritional parameters were comparable among subjects in different groups. Overall 76 83 of the subjects studied had vitamin D deficiency25, 33, and 25 had mild, moderate, and severe deficiency, respectively. 49 of the 64 males and all but 1 of the 28 females were vitamin D deficient. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency ranged from 69.6 in the employed group to 100 in the household group. Vitamin D deficiency was equally prevalent in subjects from rural and urban areas. Serum calcium and phosphorus values were comparable in subjects with and without vitamin D deficiency, while daily intake and urinary excretion of calcium were significantly lower in the former. Vitamin D deficient subjects had a significantly lower mean weekly exposure to sunlight.
Conclusions: In spite of abundant sunlight, healthy individuals in Kashmir valley are vitamin D deficient, particularly women. Serum 25 OH D concentrations are significantly related to sun exposure.
Competing interests: None stated