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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Nov 8;15(11). pii: E2503. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112503.

Vitamin D Status and Analysis of Specific Correlates in Preschool Children: A Cross-Sectional Study in Southern Croatia.

Author information

1
Teaching Institute of Public Health of Split Dalmatian County, 21000 Split, Croatia. karinzeljka@gmail.com.
2
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. barbara.gilic@outlook.com.
3
Department of Medical Laboratory Diagnostics, University Hospital of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. daniela.supedomic@gmail.com.
4
School of Medicine, University of Mostar, 88000 Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. z-sarac@hotmail.com.
5
Teaching Institute of Public Health of Split Dalmatian County, 21000 Split, Croatia. kercegovic75@gmail.com.
6
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. natasazenic@yahoo.com.
7
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. ouljevic@kifst.hr.
8
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. mia.peric@kifst.hr.
9
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. jmarkic@mefst.hr.
10
School of Medicine, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia. jmarkic@mefst.hr.

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is a globally important problem, particularly in children, but there is a lack of information regarding this deficiency in preschool children from southeastern Europe. This study aimed to establish the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and associations of gender, time spent outdoors, physical activity (PA), and body mass index (as predictors) with the 25(OH)D level (outcome) in healthy preschool children. The participants were preschoolers (all 5⁻6 years of age) from southern Croatia. All the participants were tested during their mandatory medical examination 6⁻7 months prior to school enrollment. The PA was obtained using the preschool-age physical activity questionnaire (Pre-PAQ), which categorizes PA into five levels (from sedentary to vigorous PA). The prevalence of 25(OH)D deficiency was high: 58% of the children had 25(OH)D levels of <50 nmol/L (deficiency), and an additional 29% had an insufficient level of 25(OH)D (50⁻75 nmol/L). Boys had higher levels of 25(OH)D than girls. A multinomial regression using 25(OH)D categories as the outcome and a sufficient level (>75 nmol/L) as the reference value identified gender as the only significant predictor of 25(OH)D status, with boys being at lower risk for 25(OH)D deficiency than girls. These results showed a high prevalence of 25(OH)D deficiency in preschoolers from the southern part of Croatia, which is additionally alarming based on the geographical position of the studied region (42° N) and its high number of sunshine hours (>2600 h per year). Future studies examining other potential correlates of 25(OH)D in the region are warranted.

KEYWORDS:

25(OH)D; body mass index; physical activity; preschool children; prevalence

PMID:
30413103
PMCID:
PMC6266977
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph15112503
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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