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Vitamin D status and health correlates among German adults - Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Sep 2008

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By B Hintzpeter, et al. • • November 16, 2008

Objective: To analyze:

• Vitamin D status based on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) measurements,

• Its determinants

• And health correlates in a representative sample of German adults.

Subjects: A total of 1,763 men and 2,267 women, 18- to 79-years old, who participated in the representative German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 and the integrated German Nutrition Survey.


• The median vitamin D intake from both diet and supplements did not meet the recommended level of 5 microg/day, in either men (2.8 microg/day) or women (2.3 microg/day). Altogether 80.9% of men and 88.5% of women had vitamin D intakes below this level.

• Moderate (12.5-25 nmol/l serum 25OHD levels) and mild (25-50 nmol/l) vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in the adult population in Germany, even in younger age groups. Overall, 57% of men and 58% of women had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/l. Among 65- to 79-year-old women, the proportion amounted to 75%, even during the sunnier half of the year.

• In sex-specific multiple linear regression models, independent determinants of serum 25OHD levels consistently included season, vitamin D intake from both diet and supplements, physical activity and living in a partnership.

• In addition, age and current menopausal hormone use contributed to the model among women, as opposed to time of day of blood sampling and body mass index (marginally) among men.

• Significantly lower serum 25OHD levels were observed in women with hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and noninsulin-treated diabetes mellitus as well as in men with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus compared with nonaffected participants.


• Vitamin D deficiency is a public health issue in Germany.

• We identified a number of determinants with potential for primary prevention of vitamin D deficiency.

• Risk and benefits of preventive actions need to be examined in further studies.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Sep 2008;62(9):1079-89. PMID: 17538533 Hintzpeter B, Mensink GB, Thierfelder W, Müller MJ, Scheidt-Nave C. Department of Epidemiology and Health Reporting, Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin; Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, University of Kiel, Germany. [E-mail:]

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