Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Associated Risk Factors in the US Population (2011-2012)

  • Parva N
  • Tadepalli S
  • Singh P
  • et al.
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Introduction 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the hormonally active form of vitamin D3, is a lipid-soluble compound that plays a significant role in clinical medicine due to its potent effects on calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism. Since foods containing natural vitamin D are rare, the primary source of the compound remains its nonenzymatic dermal synthesis through exposure to ultraviolet rays in sunlight. Although uncommon in most developed countries, recent literature has demonstrated that subclinical vitamin D deficiency can exist in certain populations and plays a role in downstream clinical consequences, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and fractures. This study aims to identify the prevalence and change in the pattern of vitamin D deficiency in subpopulations throughout the United States to provide a foundation for further clinical studies correlating the clinical outcomes to vitamin deficiency. Methods Data analyzed in this study were collected through National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), specifically from a population of 4962 participants, age ≥20 years, who were hospitalized between 2011 and 2012. This cohort was stratified to divide the population into patients that were vitamin D sufficient (>50 nmol/L) versus patients who were vitamin D deficient (50 nmol/L). The risk factors were compared between the subpopulations in 2005-2006 and 2011-2012. Conclusions The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is greater in certain clinical subpopulations, and the presence of associated characteristics should raise the index of suspicion for the practicing clinician with regard to conditions associated with vitamin D deficiency, such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Further research investigating the pathophysiology of hypovitaminosis D and its clinical consequences can help better understand and prevent the development of associated comorbidities.




Parva, N. R., Tadepalli, S., Singh, P., Qian, A., Joshi, R., Kandala, H., … Cheriyath, P. (2018). Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Associated Risk Factors in the US Population (2011-2012). Cureus.

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