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Earthquake and Vitamin D - several studies


(The nutritional status of reproductive women at one year after the disaster of Earthquake in Wenchuan)

Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2010 Aug;44(8):686-90.
(Article in Chinese)
Yin SA, Zhao XF, Zhao LY, Fu P, Zhang J, Ma GS.
National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of Wenchuan Earthquake on the nutritional status and the prevalence of nutritional anemia, vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and vitamin D deficiency among reproductive women (15 - 44 years old) in the disaster areas one year after the Earthquake.

METHODS: A nutritional survey was conducted in 3 counties in April 2009, one year after the Earthquake. Two towns from each county were selected as study sites, and this survey recruited 58 pregnant, 66 lactating and 242 non-pregnant-non-lactating women. A comparison was made to the results of 2002 Chinese Nutrition and Health Survey.

RESULTS: The cereals and roots intakes of the pregnant, lactating and non-pregnant-non-lactating women living in the disaster area were (426.8 ± 271.8), (568.0 ± 306.1), and (483.0 ± 277.7) g/d respectively, which were almost the same results (486.8, 509.3 and 495.1 g/d, respectively) from 2002 National Nutrition and Health Survey.

The fat and oil intakes were (41.9 ± 51.6), (55.5 ± 69.2), and (66.9 ± 125.7) g/d, respectively, which were also the same ad the results (45.2, 43.9 and 41.4 g/d, respectively) from 2002 National Nutrition and Health Survey. The intakes of meats and poultries were only (58.1 ± 67.7), (76.3 ± 218.7), and (23.9 ± 29.6) g/d respectively, which were much lower than the recommended food intakes from the Branch of Maternal and Child Nutrition of Chinese Nutrition Society. The vitamin A deficiency and marginal deficiency prevalence were 6.9% (24/347) and 18.2% (63/347), respectively. The deficiency and insufficiency of vitamin D was sum to 93.9% (323/344). The prevalence of anemia was 32.6% (112/344). 51.0% (171/335) reproductive women were iron deficient, and 61.6% (210/347) women were suffering zinc deficiency.

CONCLUSION: The study findings indicated that the dietary structure was seriously effected by the Earthquake. The sources from animal and legume products were relatively low. The micronutrients nutritional status was poor. The vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron, zinc deficiencies were highly prevalent in the disaster area. PMID: 21055016


Note: The above study noted a very small reduction in vitamin D intake from food after the earthquake but implied a very large reduction in serum level vitamin D. Did not consider less vitamin D due to stress.

Some articles on Vitamin D and stress at VitaminDWiki


Study by same Chinese authors found 92% of children under 5 in earthquake area were vitamin D insufficient

(The nutritional status among children under 60 months year-old after one year of the Earthquake in Wenchuan)
Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2010 Aug;44(8):691-5.
(Article in Chinese)
Zhao XF, Yin SA, Zhao LY, Fu P, Zhang J, Ma GS.
National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of Wenchuan Earthquake on the nutritional status, growth, and the prevalence nutritional anemia, vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and vitamin D deficiency among children under 60 months old living in the disaster areas.

METHODS: A nutritional survey was conducted in April 2009. The survey recruited 466 under 60 months old children, including 162 children aged 0 months old and 304 children aged 24 - 59 months old. The children's growth status, prevalence of anemia, and the iron deficiency prevalence, vitamin A, D, B(12), folic acid status were measured. The study findings were compared to the results from 2002 Chinese Nutritional and Health Survey.

RESULTS: The exclusive breast milk feeding rate among infants under 6-months was 58.8% (30/51). Among the 0 - 23 months old children, only 10.7% (16/150) got breast feeding within one hour after delivery. Ninety-two per cent (149/162) 0 - 23 months old children never received any nutrient supplements. The average cereals and roots intakes of the 24 - 59 months old children living in the disaster area were (267.2 ± 154.3) g/d, higher than the result of rural children average (178.75 g/d) of 2002 National Nutrition and Health Survey (u = 9.995, P < 0.01). The average intakes of vegetables, aquatic products, meat and poultries were (63.6 ± 56.7), (2.6 ± 7.9), (19.4 ± 24.0) g/d, respectively, significantly lower than 2002 results 135.05, 8.82 and 32.23 g/d (u = 21.971, 13.728 and 9.321, P < 0.01). Fruits, dairy products and legumes intakes were (102.2 ± 110.8), (65.2 ± 123.8) and (20.5 ± 29.0) g/d, respectively, higher than 2002 results (32.81, 2.87 and 6.50 g/d; u = 10.919, 8.778 and 8.417, P < 0.01). The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and marginal deficiency was 15.4% (29/188) and 30.3% (57/188), respectively. The sum of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency was 92.0% (183/199). The prevalence of anemia of the 0-months old children and 24 - 59 months old children was 47.5% (77/162) and 21.5% (60/279), respectively. The prevalence of iron and zinc deficiencies was 45.7% (86/188) and 65.5% (127/197). The prevalence of stunt was 13.6% (38/279) among the 24 - 59 months old children.

CONCLUSION: The results indicated that the dietary structure of the children living in the disaster area was not ideal. Although, the intakes of energy and protein supporting foods could meet the requirements, but the dietary lacks of meats, poultries, dairy products, legume products, aquatic products and vegetables. The vitamin A, vitamin D deficiency, iron and zinc deficiencies are of a high prevalence in the disaster area.


200,000 IU of Vitamin D monthly did not help after earthquake - RCT Dec 2014

Effect of monthly vitamin D3 supplementation in healthy adults on adverse effects of earthquakes: randomised controlled trial
BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7260 (Published 16 December 2014)

Sandy Slow, research fellow1, Christopher M Florkowski, associate professor12, Stephen T Chambers, professor13, Patricia C Priest, associate professor4, Alistair W Stewart, statistician5, Lance C Jennings, associate professor12, John H Livesey, scientist2, Carlos A Camargo Jr, professor6, Robert Scragg, professor5, David R Murdoch, professor12
Correspondence to: S Slow sandy.slow at otago.ac.nz

Objective To determine whether supplementation with vitamin D improves resilience to the adverse effects of earthquakes.

Design Opportunistic addition to an established randomised double blind placebo controlled trial.

Setting Christchurch, New Zealand, where a prolonged series of catastrophic earthquakes beginning on 4 September 2010 occurred, which caused widespread destruction, fatalities, and extensive psychological damage.

Participants 322 healthy adults (241 women; 81 men) aged 18-67 who were already participating in the vitamin D and acute respiratory infections study (VIDARIS) between February 2010 and November 2011.

Intervention Participants were randomised to receive an oral dose of either200 000 IU vitamin D3 monthly for two months then 100 000 IU monthly (n=161) or placebo (n=161) for a total of 18 months.

Main outcome measure This is a post hoc analysis from the previously published VIDARIS trial. The primary endpoint in the current analysis was the self reported effects and overall adverse impact of the Christchurch earthquakes as assessed by questionnaire four months after the most destructive earthquake on 22 February 2011, which was used as the index event. The secondary end point was the number of “psychological” adverse events that participants reported at their usual monthly appointments as part of the original VIDARIS trial.

Results 308 participants completed the earthquake impact questionnaire (n=152 in the vitamin D group and 156 in the placebo group). There was no significant difference in the number of self reported adverse effects between those receiving vitamin D supplementation and those receiving placebo. There was also no difference in the overall adverse impact score between treatment groups (χ2 P=0.44). The exception was that those in the vitamin D group experienced more adverse effects on family relationships (22% v 13%; χ2 P=0.03). The number of psychological adverse events—such as fatigue, stress, anxiety, and insomnia—that participants reported at their usual monthly appointments was significantly higher after the earthquake (χ2 P=0.007) but did not differ between treatment groups.

Conclusion In this trial, vitamin D supplementation did not reduce the adverse impact of earthquakes in healthy adults.
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