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If avoiding sun for medical reasons you need oral vitamin D – April 2011

Seasonal variations in vitamin D levels in melanoma patients: a single-centre prospective pilot comparative study.

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Apr 27. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04087.x.
Failla V, Cavalier E, El Hayderi L, Paurobally D, Chapelle J, Dezfoulian B, Nikkels A.
Departments of Dermatology Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Sart Tilman, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.

Background? More than 90% of vitamin D synthesis is dependent on UV exposure.

Photosensitive disorders such as lupus erythematosus, protoporphyria and xeroderma require strict sun avoidance, and vitamin D deficiency has been demonstrated in these patients.
Melanoma patients are also instructed to avoid sun exposure and may hence be expected to be vitamin D deficient. Materials and methods? Winter and summer vitamin D levels were compared in a group of melanoma patients (n? =? 61) and age- and phototype-matched controls (n? =? 53) without photosensitive disorders.

Results? Oral supplementary vitamin D intake was reported in 32.7% of the melanoma patients and in 15.1% in the control group.

Despite oral supplementation, only 25% of the melanoma patients and the controls presented with vitamin D levels of 30? ng/mL or higher. In non-supplemented subjects in the melanoma and control groups, respectively, mean winter vitamin D levels were below the recommended threshold at 12.6? ng/mL vs. 13.2? ng/mL, respectively, but not statistically different. These values increased significantly in both groups during the summer to 24.6 and 23.8? ng/mL respectively.

Conclusion? Unexpected, significant increases in vitamin D levels were seen in melanoma patients during summer, suggesting non-adherence with photoprotective measures and reflecting a heliophilic behaviour. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended in melanoma patients during both winter and summer.

© 2011 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2011 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

PMID: 21521378