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Vitamin D levels vary during adolescence, often decreasing to insufficiency – Sept 2015

Does vitamin D status track through adolescence?

Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 9. pii: ajcn112714. [Epub ahead of print]
Poopedi MA1, Norris SA2, Micklesfield LK2, Pettifor JM2.
1 MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa machuene.poopedi at wits.ac.za.
2 MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics and.

To our knowledge, no studies have reported on the long-term variability of vitamin D status in adolescents.

To determine whether tracking of vitamin D status occurs in healthy adolescents, we assessed the variability of 25-hydroxyvitamin D 25(OH)D every 2 y over a 10-y period in a longitudinal cohort of adolescents living in Johannesburg, South Africa (latitude 26°S).

Healthy adolescents who had blood samples available on ≥3 occasions between 11 and 20 y of age were included in the study. Of the cohort of 504 children, 99 met the criteria. The mean 25(OH)D concentration at each time point was measured, and the individual 25(OH)D z scores based on year 11 values were used as the reference. All 25(OH)D concentrations for a subject were measured in a single assay.

No significant correlation was found between 25(OH)D in the earlier and later years of adolescence, although significant correlations were found between

  • year 11 and year 13 (r = 0.71, P < 0.0001) and between years
  • 15, 17, and 20 (r ≥ 0.65, P < 0.0001).

The percentage of adolescents whose 25(OH)D concentration changed by >20 nmol/L from year 11 was calculated for all age groups:

  • 12% of the cohort had a change of >20 nmol/L at 13 y of age compared with
  • 46% at 20 y of age.

Just more than one-half (53%) of the cohort changed their category of vitamin D status between the ages of 11 and 20 y, and one-third of adolescents changed from being replete to insufficient over the same period.

The data suggest that the measurement of 25(OH)D at a single time point does not reflect the long-term vitamin D status of an adolescent. These findings may cast doubt on the veracity of those studies that suggest an association of vitamin D status with various disease states in which vitamin D status was only measured once.

PMID: 26354546

Clipped from start of Discussion
The period of adolescence is generally associated with changes
in lifestyle, which are often associated with a reduction in outdoors
physical activity because of the tendency of playing indoors
with computers or watching television (19, 20). These
changes predisposed this age group to reduced cutaneous synthesis
of vitamin D and thus to alterations in circulating 25(OH)D
concentrations, as has been noted in the current study.

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99 primarily black youths in South Africa

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5908 Track youth.pdf admin 12 Sep, 2015 185.55 Kb 773