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Dermatoendocrinol. 2013 Jan 1;5(1):34-7. doi: 10.4161/derm.24054.

Vitamin D status and sun exposure in southeast Asia.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine; Ramathibodi Hospital; Mahidol University; Bangkok, Thailand.
2
Department of Medicine; Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Diabetes; Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory; Boston University Medical Center; Boston, MA USA.

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in South Asia and Southeast Asia than is appreciated. Most studies defined 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels [25(OH)D] levels of less than 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL) as vitamin D deficiency. With this cut-off level, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was about 70% or higher in South Asia and varied from 6-70% in Southeast Asia. The determinants for the variation of vitamin D status are skin pigmentation, aging, the sun protection behaviors such as application of a sunscreen, religious, lifestyle and nutritional differences. Advanced age is a known risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. Interestingly, elderly in countries such as Korea and Thailand, had higher 25(OH)D levels when compared with young people. This widespread vitamin D deficiency problem especially in the young generation is an urgent health issue that needs to be remedied.

KEYWORDS:

25-hydroxyvitamin D; Southeast Asia; sun exposure; vitamin D deficiency; vitamin D3

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