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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004 Jun;158(6):531-7.

Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthy adolescents.

Author information

  • 1Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02115, USA. catherine.gordon@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although vitamin D deficiency has been documented as a frequent problem in studies of young adults, elderly persons, and children in other countries, there are limited data on the prevalence of this nutritional deficiency among healthy US teenagers.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in healthy adolescents presenting for primary care.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional clinic-based sample.

SETTING:

An urban hospital in Boston.

PARTICIPANTS:

Three hundred seven adolescents recruited at an annual physical examination to undergo a blood test and nutritional and activity assessments.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and parathyroid hormone, anthropometric data, nutritional intake, and weekly physical activity and lifestyle variables that were potential risk factors for hypovitaminosis D.

RESULTS:

Seventy-four patients (24.1%) were vitamin D deficient (serum 25OHD level, </=15 ng/mL [</=37.5 nmol/L]), of whom 14 (4.6%) were severely vitamin D deficient (25OHD level, </=8 ng/mL [</=20 nmol/L]). By using a broader definition (25OHD level, </=20 ng/mL [</=50 nmol/L]), 129 patients (42.0%) were vitamin D insufficient. Serum 25OHD levels were inversely correlated with parathyroid hormone levels (r = -0.29), and were 24% lower during winter compared with summer. In a final multivariate model, season, ethnicity, milk and juice consumption, body mass index, and physical activity were significant independent predictors of hypovitaminosis D.

CONCLUSIONS:

Vitamin D deficiency was present in many US adolescents in this urban clinic-based sample. The prevalence was highest in African American teenagers and during winter, although the problem seems to be common across sex, season, and ethnicity.

PMID:
15184215
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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