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Dark skinned Caribbean seniors have enough vitamin D – April 2011

Low prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in elderly Afro-Caribbean men.

Ethn Dis. 2011 Winter;21(1):79-84.
Miljkovic I, Bodnar LM, Cauley JA, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wheeler VW, Kuller LH, Zmuda JM.
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. miljkovici at edc.pitt.edu

Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent worldwide, and is linked to several major chronic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D deficiency has not been evaluated in dark skinned individuals living in areas of high sun exposure utilizing more reliable mass spectrometry assay techniques. We determined the prevalence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency in Afro-Caribbean men on the tropical island of Tobago, where there is a high level of sunshine year round. Serum 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 metabolites were measured following extraction and purification using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry in 424 Afro-Caribbean men aged > 65 years from a larger population-based cohort study.

The mean (+/- SD) serum total 25(OH)D concentration was 35.1 +/- 8.9 ng/mL. Deficiency (< 20 ng/mL) was present in only 2.8% and insufficiency (< 30 ng/mL) in 24% of the men. Multiple linear regression analysis identified age, BMI and daily vitamin D supplementation as the independent correlates of 25(OH)D.

None of the men who consumed fish more than once per week had vitamin D deficiency, compared to 4% of the men who consumed fish once per week or less (P = .01, adjusted for age, BMI, and daily vitamin D supplementation).

In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is very uncommon in this Afro-Caribbean population. Longitudinal studies are needed to delineate the possible effects of high vitamin D levels in this population on major diseases hypothesized to be associated with vitamin D deficiency.

PMID: 21462735

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See also VitaminDWiki