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Vitamin D levels in prepubertal children in Southern Tasmania: prevalence and determinants


Jones, G and Blizzard, CL and Riley, MD and Parameswaran, V and Greenaway, TM and Dwyer, T, Vitamin D levels in prepubertal children in Southern Tasmania: prevalence and determinants, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53, (10) pp. 824-829. ISSN 0954-3007 (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600858


Objective: To describe the prevalence and determinants of 25-hydroxy D 3 (25(OH)D) in children. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Southern Tasmania between June and November 1997. Subjects: Two hundred and one 8-y old male and female children taking part in a cohort study whose principal endpoints were blood pressure and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Results: The mean 25(OH)D level was 79 nmol/l (s.d. 29.5, median 73, range 12-222). Boys had higher levels than girls (82.1 vs 72.8 nmol/l, P = 0.02). 25(OH)D was associated with sunlight exposure in winter school holidays (r = 0.20, P = 0.005) and winter weekends (r = 0.16, P = 0.02), the month after school holidays (87.5 vs 69.5 nmol, P < 0.0001) and body mass index (r = -0.23, P = 0.001). Dietary intake of vitamin D was low (mean 40 IU/day, range 5.2-384) and was not associated with 25(OH)D levels (r = 0.01, P = 0.91). Variation in skin melanin density was weakly associated with 25(OH)D (r = 0.09, P = 0.19). Conclusions: Sunlight is the major determinant of vitamin D stores in our population. Neither variation in skin type within Caucasians nor diet modified this association to any significant extent. Extrapolation of these findings to sunlight bone mass associations in a very similar population suggests that a minimum level of around 50 nmol/l in the population is required for optimal bone development in prepubertal children but this needs to be confirmed with further controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation and bone mass.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Neonatal and child health
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, CL (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Riley, MD (Mr Malcolm Riley)
UTAS Author:Greenaway, TM (Dr Tim Greenaway)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
ID Code:17916
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:Menzies Centre
Deposited On:1999-08-01
Last Modified:2011-10-04

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