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Public Health Nutr. 2015 Jan;18(1):112-21. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013003480. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

Association of vitamin D with adiposity measures and other determinants in a cross-sectional study of Cypriot adolescents.

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1Cyprus International Institute for Environmental & Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health,Cyprus University of Technology,95 Irenes Street,3041 Limassol,Cyprus.
43rd Department of Pediatrics,Attikon University Hospital,University of Athens Medical School,Athens,Greece.
2Department of Nursing,School of Health Sciences,Cyprus University of Technology,Limassol,Cyprus.



To assess vitamin D status among Cypriot adolescents and investigate potential determinants including BMI and body fat percentage (BF%).


Participants had cross-sectional assessments of serum vitamin D, physical activity, dietary vitamin D intake and sun exposure. Linear and logistic regression models were used to explore the associations of vitamin D with potential predictors.


Hospitals, Cyprus, November 2007-May 2008.


Adolescents (n 671) aged 16-18 years.


Mean serum vitamin D was 22·90 (sd 6·41) ng/ml. Only one in ten children had sufficient levels of vitamin D (≥30 ng/ml), while the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (12-20 ng/ml) and severe deficiency (<12 ng/ml) was 31·7 % and 4·0 %, respectively. Lower vitamin D was associated with winter and spring season, female gender, reduced sun exposure in winter and darker skin. Participants with highest BMI and BF% when compared with a middle reference group had increased adjusted odds of vitamin D insufficiency (OR = 3·00; 95 % CI 1·21, 7·45 and OR = 5·02; 95 % CI 1·80, 13·97, respectively). A similar pattern, although not as strong, was shown for vitamin D deficiency with BF% (OR = 1·81; 95 % CI 1·04, 3·16) and BMI (OR = 1·51; 95 % CI 0·85, 2·67). Participants in the lowest BMI and BF% groups also displayed compromised vitamin D status, suggesting a U-shaped association.


Vitamin D deficiency in adolescence is very prevalent in sunny Cyprus, particularly among females, those with darker skin and those with reduced sun exposure in winter. Furthermore, vitamin D status appears to have a U-shaped association with adiposity measures.


Adiposity; Adolescents; BMI; Body fat percentage; Predictors; Vitamin D

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