Adequate vitamin D levels in a Swedish population living above latitude 63N: The 2009 Northern Sweden MONICA study
Int J Circumpolar Health 2015, 74: 27963 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ijch.v74.27963
Anna Ramnemark1, Margareta Norberg2, Ulrika Pettersson-Kymmer3 and Mats Eliasson4,5 mats.eliasson at nll.se
1Geriatric Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;
2Epidemiology and global health, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;
3Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;
4Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Sunderby Research Unit, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;
5Arctic Research Centre (Arcum), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
Study noted lack of sunshine and little vitamin D supplementation in this population
Study appears to ignore dietary input from fish and cod liver oil
See also VitaminDWiki
Background. Even though vitamin D is mainly produced by exposure to sunlight, little is known regarding vitamin D levels in populations living in sub-Arctic areas with little or no daylight during winter.
Objective. We describe distributions of vitamin D3 and the prevalence of adequate levels in a population living above 63°N.
Design. We sampled 1,622 randomly selected subjects, aged 25–74 years, between January and May, 2009, as part of the Northern Sweden MONICA study (69.2% participation rate). By using HPLC, 25(OH) vitamin D3 was analysed. Levels used for definitions were deficient, D3<25 nmol/l (<10 ng/ml); insufficient, D3 25–49.9 nmol/l (10–20 ng/ml); and adequate, D3≥50 nmol/l (20 ng/ml).
Results. Mean (median) level of vitamin D3 was 65.2 (63.6) nmol/l in men and 71.0 (67.7) nmol/l in women. Adequate levels were found in 79.2%, more often in women (82.7%) than in men (75.6%). Only 0.7% of the population were vitamin D3–deficient but 23.1% of men and 17.1% of women had insufficient levels. Levels of vitamin D3 increased with age and insufficient status was most common among those aged 25–34 years, 41.0% in men and 22.3% in women.
If subjects using vitamin D-supplementation are excluded, the population level of D3 is 1–2 nmol/l lower than in the general population across sex- and age groups. There were no differences between the northern or the southern parts, between urban or rural living or according to educational attainment. Those subjects born outside of Sweden or Finland had lower levels.
Conclusion. The large majority living close to the Arctic Circle in Sweden have adequate D3 levels even during the second half of the dark winter. Subjects with D3 deficiency were uncommon but insufficient levels were often found among young men.