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Vitamin D deficiency in UK South Asian Women of childbearing age: a comparative longitudinal investigation with UK Caucasian women

Darling, Andrea, Hart, Kathryn, Macdonald, HM, Horton, K, Kang’ombe, AR, Berry, JL and Lanham-New, Susan (2012) Vitamin D deficiency in UK South Asian Women of childbearing age: a comparative longitudinal investigation with UK Caucasian women Osteoporosis International.

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This is the first 1-year longitudinal study which assesses vitamin D deficiency in young UK-dwelling South Asian women. The findings are that vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in this group of women and that it persists all year around, representing a significant public health concern. Introduction There is a lack of longitudinal data assessing seasonal variation in vitamin D status in young South Asian women living in northern latitudes. Studies of postmenopausal South Asian women suggest a lack of seasonal change in 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D], although it is unclear whether this is prevalent among premenopausal South Asians. We aimed to evaluate, longitudinally, seasonal changes in 25(OH)D and prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in young UK-dwelling South Asian women as compared with Caucasians. We also aimed to establish the relative contributions of dietary vitamin D and sun exposure in explaining serum 25(OH)D. Methods This is a 1-year prospective cohort study assessing South Asian (n = 35) and Caucasian (n = 105) premenopausal women living in Surrey, UK (51° N), aged 20–55 years. The main outcome measured was serum 25(OH)D concentration. Secondary outcomes were serum parathyroid hormone, self-reported dietary vitamin D intake and UVB exposure by personal dosimetry. Results Serum 25(OH)D <25 nmol/L was highly prevalent in South Asians in the winter (81 %) and autumn (79.2 %). Deficient status (below 50 nmol/L) was common in Caucasian women. Multi-level modelling suggested that, in comparison to sun exposure (1.59, 95 %CI = 0.83–2.35), dietary intake of vitamin D had no impact on 25(OH)D levels (−0.08, 95 %CI = −1.39 to 1.23). Conclusions Year-round vitamin D deficiency was extremely common in South Asian women. These findings pose great health threats regarding the adverse effects of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and warrant urgent vitamin D public health policy and action.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Authors :
Macdonald, HM
Horton, K
Kang’ombe, AR
Berry, JL
Date : 14 April 2012
DOI : 10.1007/s00198-012-1973-2
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2012. This is an author's version of an article accepted for publication in the journal Osteoporosis International. The original publication is available at <a href=""></a>
Uncontrolled Keywords : Longitudinal cohort study . Premenopausal women . Seasonal 25-hydroxyvitamin D . South Asian ethnicity . UVB exposure . Vitamin D deficiency
Depositing User : Andrea Darling
Date Deposited : 03 Oct 2012 16:17
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:10

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