Relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, serum calcium, and parathyroid hormone in apparently healthy Syrian people

Rima Sayed-Hassan, Nizar Abazid, Zaynab Alourfi
Archives of Osteoporosis 2014, 9: 176

UNLABELLED: Vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) <25 nmol/L) was common in a convenience sample of apparently healthy Syrian adults. Female gender, season, and concealing clothing were independent predictors of vitamin D deficiency. Community-based research is needed to identify vulnerable subgroups and inform public health actions.

PURPOSE: Optimal vitamin D status for bone health has been inferred from the determination of serum 25OHD levels below which there is an increase in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH). Studies worldwide showed high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D even in sunny countries. There is little evidence about its prevalence among Syrian adult population. We aimed to assess the serum levels of 25OHD and factors related to vitamin D inadequacy and its relation to serum PTH and calcium among apparently healthy adults.

METHODS: Serum 25OHD and PTH measurements were obtained from 372 subjects aged 18-62 years living in Damascus and its surroundings, between April 2011 and March 2013. Binary logistic regression was used to assess risk factors for hypovitaminosis D.

RESULTS: The mean (standard deviation (SD)) 25OHD level was 24.7 (16.9) nmol/L [9.8 (6.7) ng/mL] and was higher in men than women (p < 0.001). Levels <25, <50, and <75 nmol/L were detected in 61, 90.1, and 99.2 % of the participants, respectively. Season influenced vitamin D status in men but not in women (p < 0.001). Female gender and wearing the veil (hijab) were independent predictors of vitamin D deficiency (25OHD <25 nmol/L). PTH was significantly higher below this threshold (p < 0.001). Serum 25OHD <25 nmol/L, sex, and age ≥ 35 years were statistically significant factors for PTH elevation.

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in our sample. Further research is needed to identify population groups vulnerable for hypovitaminosis D and specify its predictors and inform the necessary public health measures.

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