PLoS One. 2014 Mar 5;9(3):e90623. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090623. eCollection 2014.
Nwosu BU1, Maranda L2, Berry R3, Colocino B3, Flores CD Sr3, Folkman K3, Groblewski T4, Ruze P4.
INTRODUCTION: There is no comprehensive, systematic analysis of the vitamin D status of prisoners in the scientific literature.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the vitamin D status and its determinants in US prison inmates.
Given the uniformity of dietary intake amongst inmates, vitamin D status will be determined by non-dietary factors such as skin pigmentation, security level-, and the duration of incarceration.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
A retrospective study of 526 inmates (males, n = 502, age 48.6±12.5 years; females, n = 24, age 44.1±12.2) in Massachusetts prisons. Vitamin D sufficiency, insufficiency, and deficiency were respectively defined as a 25(OH)D concentration 75 nmol/L; 50 to 75 nmol/L; and <50 nmol/L. The Massachusetts Department of Correction Statement of Nutritional Adequacy stated that each inmate received the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D daily. Security level of incarceration was designated as minimum, medium, and maximum. Racial groups were categorized as Black, white, Asian, and Others.
Serum 25(OH)D levels peaked in summer and autumn, and decreased in winter and spring. Vitamin D deficiency occurred in 50.5% of blacks, 29.3% of whites, and 14.3% of Asian inmates (p = 0.007). Black inmates had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D level than white inmates at the maximum security level (p = 0.015), medium security level (p = 0.001), but not at the minimum security level (p = 0.40).
After adjusting for covariates black inmates at a maximum security level had a four-fold higher risk for vitamin D deficiency than white inmates at the same security level (OR 3.9 [95% CI 1.3-11.7].
The vitamin D status of prison inmates is determined by skin pigmentation, seasons, and the security level of incarceration.