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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;70(3):373-9. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.176. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its association with nutrition, travelling and clothing habits in an immigrant population in Northern Sweden.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
2
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
3
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
4
Department of Statistics, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study prevalence and determinants of vitamin D deficiency in immigrants from Africa and the Middle East living in Umeå, Sweden.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional population based.

SETTING:

Umeå, Sweden (63° N).

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

Immigrants aged 25-65 years from nine countries in Africa or the Middle East (n=1306) were invited. A total of 111 men and 106 women (16.5%) completed the study. S-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 was measured with HPLC. Anthropometry, medical, socioeconomic and lifestyle data were registered.

RESULTS:

Vitamin D status was insufficient or deficient in 73% of the participants. Specifically, 12% had vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D3<25 nmol/l), and only 3.7% had optimal vitamin D status (25(OH)D3 75-125 nmol/l). Mean 25(OH)D3 level was 41.0 nmol/l (± 16.6) with no difference between sexes. Levels of 25(OH)D3 were lower (P=0.030) and vitamin D deficiency was twice as common in immigrants from Africa compared with those from the Middle East. In the multiple regression analysis, vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with low fatty fish intake (OR 4.31, 95% CI 1.61-11.55), not travelling abroad (OR 3.76, 95% CI 1.18-11.96) and wearing long-sleeved clothes in summer (OR 3.15, 95% CI 1.09-9.12).

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East who live in northern Sweden have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Our results are consistent with sun exposure and a diet with high intake of fatty fish being most important in avoiding vitamin D deficiency.

PMID:
26508457
DOI:
10.1038/ejcn.2015.176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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