Bone Abstracts (2013) 2 P39 | DOI: 10.1530/boneabs.2.P39

Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in adolescent Muslim girls attending a school in the UK, which adheres to a conservative dress code

S Lukman1, R Syahanee2, J L Berry3 & M Z Mughal1


1Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust, Manchester, UK; 2Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK; 3Vitamin D Research Group, Endocrine Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


Aim: To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among adolescent Muslim girls attending a school in the UK, which adheres to a conservative dress code.

Methods: Fifty-six (31%) out of 180 girls attending a Muslim High School for Girls (median age 13.2years, (IQR 12.5–13.8 years)) took part in this cross-sectional study. Seventy-nine percent (n=45) were of South Asian origin, 3.5% were Black African origin (n=2), 1.8% was Middle Eastern origin (n=1), and 15.8% were other ethnic origin (n=9). The participant’s serum concentration of calcium (Ca), phosphate (P), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), parathyroid hormone (PTH), and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) were measured. Dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D were also estimated.

Results: Fifty-one out of 56 (91%) (95% CI 86–95) girls were found to be vitamin D deficient (25OHD <25 nmol/l) and 4 out of 56 (7%) (95% CI 5–17) were vitamin D insufficient (25 nmol/l<25OHD <50 nmol/l). The median serum concentration of 25OHD was 12.8 nmol/l (IQR 10–17 nmol/l). Serum concentration of Ca, P, ALP, and PTH were all within the normal limits. The median vitamin D intake was 69 IU/day (IQR 29–122 IU/day), which is 17% of the recommended daily intake (400 IU). The median dietary calcium intake was 662 mg (IQR 456–860 mg), which is four-fifth of the recommended daily intake (800 mg). The median serum 25OHD of subjects taken multivitamin (MV) supplements (median=17.3 nmol/l (IQR 13–26.3)) was (P<0.01) higher than that of subjects not taking MV supplements (11.3 nmol/l (IQR 8.8–14)).

Conclusions: All subjects (98%) bar one had vitamin D deficiency (91%) and vitamin D insufficiency (7%). Those taking MV supplements had higher serum 25OHD concentrations, although optimum serum concentrations of >50 nmol/l were not achieved. Further studies are needed to determine the dose of vitamin D supplementation needed to optimise the vitamin D status of these groups of adolescent girls.

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