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Vitamin D status: Multifactorial contribution of environment, genes and other factors in healthy Australian adults across a latitude gradient


Lucas, RM and Ponsonby, AL and Dear, K and Valery, PC and Taylor, B and van der Mei, I and McMichael, AJ and Pender, MP and Chapman, C and Coulthard, A and Kilpatrick, TJ and Stankovich, J and Williams, D and Dwyer, T, Vitamin D status: Multifactorial contribution of environment, genes and other factors in healthy Australian adults across a latitude gradient, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 136, (13) pp. 300-308. ISSN 0960-0760 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2013.01.011


Vitamin D deficiency is common and implicated in risk of several human diseases. Evidence on the relative quantitative contribution of environmental, genetic and phenotypic factors to vitamin D status (assessed by the serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25(OH)D) in free-living populations is sparse. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 494 Caucasian adults aged 18-61years, randomly selected from the Australian Electoral Roll according to groups defined by age, sex and region (spanning 27°-43°South). Data collected included personal characteristics, sun exposure behaviour, biomarkers of skin type and past sun exposure, serum 25(OH)D concentration and candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms. Ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels in the month six weeks before blood sampling best predicted vitamin D status. Serum 25(OH)D concentration increased by 10nmol/L as reported time in the sun doubled. Overall, 54% of the variation in serum 25(OH)D concentration could be accounted for: 36% of the variation was explained by sun exposure-related factors; 14% by genetic factors (including epistasis) and 3.5% by direct measures of skin phenotype. Novel findings from this study are demonstration of gene epistasis, and quantification of the relative contribution of a wide range of environmental, constitutional and genetic factors to vitamin D status. Ambient UVR levels and time in the sun were of prime importance but it is nonetheless important to include the contribution of genetic factors when considering sun exposure effects. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Vitamin D Workshop'.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vitamin D, gene, environment, latitude
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Taylor, B (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Stankovich, J (Dr Jim Stankovich)
ID Code:85035
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:69
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-06-12
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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