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Occup Med (Lond). 2013 Oct;63(7):485-93. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqt106. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Vitamin D status of Canadians employed in northern latitudes.

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School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are prevalent worldwide, but relatively few studies have examined vitamin D status in working populations.


To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in Canadian workers and investigate risk factors in this population.


A cross-sectional study using data from a health programme enrolling workers mostly from Northern Alberta, Canada. As part of the programme, volunteers were invited to complete a lifestyle questionnaire. Blood was taken to determine plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels. Logistic and linear regressions were used to investigate the relationships between individual characteristics and vitamin D status.


Between October 2007 and December 2012, 6101 eligible workers enrolled in the health programme. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (plasma 25(OH)D, levels <27.5 nmol/l) and insufficiency (<37.5 nmol/l) were 3 and 8%, respectively. Male employees were significantly more likely to be vitamin D deficient and insufficient than females. Residing at a more northern latitude increased the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. Age, assessments made in summer, better general health and physical activity and use of vitamin D supplementation were all related to lower likelihood of deficiency and insufficiency.


Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are a concern in this sample of Canadian workers. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended to reduce the prevalence of deficiency and insufficiency in this group.


25-hydroxyvitamin D; Canadian workers; deficiency; insufficiency; vitamin D.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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