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Vitamin D deficiency in Tasmania: A whole of life perspective


Van der Mei, IAF and Dore, D and Winzenberg, T and Blizzard, L and Jones, G, Vitamin D deficiency in Tasmania: A whole of life perspective, Internal Medicine Journal, 42, (10) pp. 1137-1144. ISSN 1444-0903 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania. Internal Medicine Journal. Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1445-5994.2012.02788.x


Objective:  This study aims to describe the life-time picture of vitamin D deficiency, as measured by serum 25(OH)D concentration, in Tasmania (latitude 43°S).

Methods:  Five cross-sectional studies were used: A sample of primary school children (n=201, aged 7-8 years), two samples of adolescents (sample 1: n=374, aged 15-18 years; sample 2: n=136, aged 16-19 years), a sample of young to middle aged adults (n=262, aged 19-59 years), and a sample of older adults (n=1092, aged 50-80 years).

Results:  In winter/spring, approximately two third of the adolescents and adults (young, middle-aged and older) had 25(OH)D levels ≤50 nmol/L and around 10% had 25(OH)D levels ≤25 nmol/L. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was much lower for primary school children (11.5% <50 nmol/L, 0.5% ≤25 nmol/L). In summer/autumn, approximately one third of the adolescents and adults had 25(OH)D levels ≤50 nmol/L, and very few had 25(OH)D levels ≤25 nmol/L. For the adolescents and adults, even among those who reported the highest category of sun exposure, approximately 45% had 25(OH)D levels ≤50 nmol/L in winter/spring.

Conclusions:  Vitamin D deficiency was uncommon among our sample of primary school children, but increased substantially during the teenage years, and seemed to remain high throughout the rest of life suggesting mild vitamin D deficiency is endemic in Tasmania apart from in the very young.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:multiple sclerosis, vitamin D, bone, 25(OH)D, deficiency, adult, child, teenage
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Autonomic nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Van der Mei, IAF (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Dore, D (Associate Professor Dawn Aitken)
UTAS Author:Winzenberg, T (Professor Tania Winzenberg)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
ID Code:78518
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2012-07-04
Last Modified:2017-11-02
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