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Br J Nutr. 2009 Feb;101(4):487-91. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508023404.

Prevalence and predictors of vitamin D inadequacy amongst Lebanese osteoporotic women.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Saint-Joseph University, Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon. mhcyared@terra.net.lb


In Middle-Eastern countries, more particularly in Lebanon, the incidence of vitamin D deficiency has been found to be surprisingly high in schoolchildren and young individuals. However, the prevalence and risk factors for vitamin D inadequacy amongst Lebanese osteoporotic women seeking medical health care has never been studied. We analysed vitamin D-inadequacy risk factors among the 251 Lebanese postmenopausal osteoporotic women (from both Muslim and Christian communities) who participated in a vitamin D international epidemiological study. Vitamin D inadequacy prevalence (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) , 30 ng/ml) was 84.9%. 25(OH)D was negatively correlated with BMI (r 20.41; P<0.001) and positively correlated with educational level (r 0.37; P<0.001) and self-reported general health (r 0.17; P<0.01). No significant correlation was found with age and no seasonal variation was observed. There was no significant correlation between 25(OH)D and sun exposure index or vitamin D-rich food consumption. However, 25(OH)D strongly correlated with vitamin D supplement intake (r 0.48; P<0.0001). Muslim community participants had lower 25(OH)D levels compared with their Christian counterparts (P<0.001). They also had higher BMI, lower educational level and vitamin D supplement consumption and followed more frequently a dress code covering the arms (P<0.0001 for all variables). In a multivariate model, in Muslims, inadequate vitamin D supplements and a dress code covering the arms are the independent predictors of 25(OH)D inadequacy (P<0.001 for both variables). However, in Christians, the predictors are inadequate vitamin D supplements, high BMI and low educational level (P<0.001; P=002 and P=0.02 respectively). There is an urgent need to increase vitamin D supplement use in Middle-Eastern osteoporotic women, more particularly in those from the Muslim community.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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