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Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;60(1):35-43. doi: 10.1159/000335282. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Determinants of vitamin D status among overweight and obese Puerto Rican adults.

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  • 1Nutrition Program, Graduate School of Public Health, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR.



Low vitamin D status is highly prevalent worldwide, and the major determinants are sun exposure and vitamin D intake. We aimed to measure vitamin D status in a sample of overweight/obese adults in Puerto Rico, an area with plenty of sun exposure, and relate it to vitamin D intake, sun exposure and body composition.


Serum 25(OH)D levels (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry), body weight and fat (bioimpedance), vitamin D intake and sun exposure (questionnaires) were assessed. Analysis included age-adjusted correlations and multivariate regression.


In 98 subjects (66% females; 40-65 years), median serum 25(OH)D levels were 30.7 ng/ml (25-75th percentile 25.0-37.3); 55% had levels >30 ng/ml, 31% had levels between 20 and 30 ng/ml and 14% had levels <20 ng/ml. Total vitamin D intake was 180 IU/day (45-615), and the sun exposure score was 22 (17-27). After adjusting for gender, 25(OH)D levels were significantly correlated with vitamin D intake (r = 0.24, p = 0.018), the sum of sun exposure and vitamin D intake indices (r = 0.34, p = 0.001) and percent body fat (r = -0.25, p = 0.01). After adjusting for age, gender and percent body fat, the sum of sun exposure and vitamin D intake indices remained statistically associated with 25(OH)D levels (β = 1.5, p < 0.01).


In this group of overweight and obese individuals, 25(OH)D was significantly related to vitamin D intake, sun exposure and vitamin D intake indices and percent body fat.

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