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Vitamin D deficiency is common among healthy Saudi adults

Published on

27 September 2013

According to a new study the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high among Saudi Arabian adults, particularly for women and girls and young boys.

The observational study analyzed blood vitamin D concentrations of 245 male and 243 female Saudi Arab-ians with a mean age of 37.43 years (1). The study showed that 29% of participants were vitamin D deficient, 22.7% had insufficient levels and only 47.5% had adequate levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency was higher for women, younger participants and participants with anemia.

The researchers commented that wearing traditional clothes, deliberate avoidance of the sun, and inade-quate dietary intake are likely to be the principal causes of low vitamin D levels. The findings confirm results from an earlier study reporting men had higher vitamin D levels due to greater sun exposure and wearing lighter clothes at home (2). The high prevalence of insufficient vitamin D supply is a cause for concern given that there is currently no public health policy for vitamin D in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the scientists said.


  1. Alsuwadia A. O. et al. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Saudi adults. Saudi Med J. 2013; 34(8):814–818.
  2. Elshafie D. E. et al. Comparison of vitamin D deficiency in Saudi married couples. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012; 66(6):742–745.

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