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Seniors in North Indian: half have sore bones, 98 pcnt have less than 30 ng vitamin D – Nov 2011

Vitamin D status in healthy Indians aged 50 years and above.

J Assoc Physicians India. 2011 Nov;59:706-9.
Marwaha RK, Tandon N, Garg MK, Kanwar R, Narang A, Sastry A, Saberwal A, Bandra K.
Department of Endocrinology and Thyroid Research Centre, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India.

INTRODUCTION: There is widespread prevalence of vitamin D deficiency from new-born to infancy, childhood and adult male and females (non-pregnant, pregnant and lactating). However, there is limited information of the vitamin D status in elderly Indians.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was carried in 1346 healthy subjects more than 50 years of age residing in Delhi, India. These subjects, who were divided in two groups: Group-1 (50-< 65 years) and Group-2 (> or = 65 years), underwent anthropometric, biochemical and hormonal evaluation for vitamin D status Bone mineral density was measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry.

RESULTS: There were 643 males and 703 females, with a mean age of 58.0 +/- 9.5 years (range 50-84 years). Vitamin D deficiency [VDD, serum 25(OH)D levels < 20 ng/ml) was present in 1228 (91.2%) and Vitamin D insufficiency [[VDI, serum 25(OH)D levels 20-< 30 ng/ml] in 92 (6.8%). There was no significant difference in prevalence of either VDD or VDI between two age groups and sexes. Serum 25(OH)D levels were negatively correlated with PTH levels (r -0.027, p <0.00001) and BMI (r -0.128, p 0.05). Prevalence of secondary hyperparathyroidism increased from 14.1% to 43.1% from VDI to severe VDD. PTH levels started rising at vitamin D level < 30 ng/ml. However, more than 50% of subjects with severe VDD had PTH levels within normal range. High prevalence of osteopenia (50.2%) and osteoporosis (31.2%) was observed in this population.

CONCLUSION: Hypovitaminosis D is universal above the age of 50 years in north India. Absence of a PTH response was observed in more than 50% of individuals with VDD, the cause of which merits further evaluation. Normal bone mass was observed in only 18.6% of study subjects.