Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nutrients. 2016 Sep 23;8(10). pii: E592. doi: 10.3390/nu8100592.

Seasonal Epidemiology of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations among Healthy Adults Living in Rural and Urban Areas in Mongolia.

Author information

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
National Institute of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar 16081, Mongolia.
Departments of Epidemiology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.
National Institute of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar 16081, Mongolia.
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Many factors put Mongolians at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Despite low levels observed in Mongolian children and pregnant women, there are few data published on the vitamin D status of non-pregnant adults. Between summer 2011 and winter 2013, paired summer and winter blood samples were collected from 320 healthy men and women (20-58 years) living in eight Mongolian provinces. Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 22.5 ng/mL (95% CI: 14.5, 32.5) in summer and 7.7 ng/mL (95% CI: 4.6, 10.8) in winter, with a distribution (<10/10-20/20-30/≥30 ng/mL) of 3.1%/39.3%/39.6%/17.9% in summer and 80.1%/19.5%/0.3%/0.0% in winter. Residents of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, had lower levels in both seasons than any other region, whereas residents of the Gobi desert had the highest. In summer, indoor workers had significantly lower levels than outdoor workers (-2.3 ng/mL; 95% CI: -4.1, -5.7) while levels in males exceeded those in females (4.0 ng/mL; 95% CI: 2.3, 5.7). Effects of region, occupation, and sex were also significant in multivariable regression. In conclusion, Mongolian adults had extremely low serum 25(OH)D, particularly in winter, when 80.1% had concentrations below 10 ng/mL. These results indicate a need for effective vitamin D interventions for the Mongolian adult population, particularly among women and residents of Ulaanbaatar.


25(OH)D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Mongolia; calciferol; food fortification; hypovitaminosis D; nutrient supplementation; nutritional epidemiology; sex differences; vitamin D deficiency

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center