Posted on Oct 07, 2013, 6 a.m.
Discerning patterns of Vitamin D status worldwide, German researchers identify population subgroups potentially at-risk for bone and cardiac disorders.
Best known for its role in bone health, Vitamin D is now thought to contribute to cardiovascular diseases and even cancers. Kristina Hoffmann, from Heidelberg University (Germany), and colleagues analyzed close to 200 population-based vitamin D studies from 44 countries, aiming to discern patterns of vitamin D status worldwide to identify key population subgroups potentially at-risk for bone and cardiac disorders, and cancers. The team observed that worldwide, 1 in 3 people are low in Vitamin D (measured as serum 25(OH)D), defined as values below 50 nmol/L. Vitamin D values were higher in North America than in Europe or the Middle-East. Age-related differences were observed for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, but not elsewhere. The study authors submit that “Substantial details on worldwide patterns of vitamin D status at the population level and within key subgroups are needed to inform public health policy development to reduce risk for potential health consequences of an inadequate vitamin D status.”
Hilger J, Friedel A, Herr R, Rausch T, Roos F, Wahl DA, Pierroz DD, Weber P, Hoffmann K. “A systematic review of vitamin D status in populations worldwide.” Br J Nutr. 2013 Aug 9:1-23.