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Dermatologists use sun block, stay indoors, and have low vitamin D (Thai in this study) – Dec 2018

Vitamin D status in Thai dermatologists and working‐age Thai population

The Journal of Dermatology https://doi.org/10.1111/1346-8138.14742
Natta Rajatanavin Silada Kanokrangsee Wichai Aekplakorn

Thai Thai
dermatologists
Sufficiency (>30 ng/mL) 31 %0 %
Insufficiency (20–30 ng/mL) 50 %39 %
Deficiency (<20 ng/mL) 18 %60 %
Severe deficiency (<10 ng/mL) 1%1%


This study aimed to determine the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency among Thai dermatologists compared with the general working‐age population in Bangkok. A cross‐sectional study was conducted in healthy Thai physicians who had at least 1 years’ experience in dermatology practise and a subsample of the general Thai population from the Fourth National Health Survey. Serum 25‐hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), a combination of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3, levels in both groups were measured using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The majority of dermatologists were of Fitzpatrick skin type III (n = 61, 61.3%) or IV (n = 32, 33.3%).
The mean serum 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 levels were 18.9 and 18.2 ng/mL, respectively,
   whereas the corresponding levels in the general population were 26.5 and 25.8 ng/mL.

  • None of the dermatologist had serum 25(OH)D sufficiency (>30 ng/mL),
  • 38 (38.78%) had vitamin D insufficiency (20–30 ng/mL) and
  • 60 (61.22%) had vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL).
  • The frequency of vitamin D deficiency in dermatologists was significantly higher than in the general population
    • (61.2% vs 19.2%, P < 0.001).
  • Ninety percent of dermatologists used sunscreen daily and spent time mostly indoors.

Dermatologists used physical sun‐protection more than half of the time when outdoors, for example, a

  • book or paper as a sunshade (70.3%)
  • an umbrella (48.4%)
  • a long‐sleeved shirt (20.4%) or a
  • hat (9.7%).

In conclusion, dermatologists showed a remarkably high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency which may be due to inadequate exposure to sunlight, regular use of sunscreen and practicing various sun‐protection activities.

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