Objective: The objective of this observational cross-sectional study is to identify the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in healthy women in Greece, as reflected by the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), since recent data indicate that vitamin D deficiency can be common in countries previously considered as low risk (e.g. Mediterranean countries).
Materials and methods: A population of 840 community dwelling women was recruited at the health promotion events carried out by the Hellenic Society for the Support of Patients with Osteoporosis in rural and urban areas throughout Greece. Serum total calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), creatinine, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 25(OH)D were measured. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Harokopio University.
Results: The mean age of the population was 50.33 years (range, 2086 years) while 86.9% were 2065 years old. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 19.95 ng/ml, mean PTH was 41.16 pg/ml and mean Ca, P and creatinine were 9.50, 3.63 and 0.77 mg/dl respectively. Concerning the vitamin D levels, 55.3% of the subjects had deficient (019.9 ng/ml), 34.2% had insufficient (2029.9 ng/ml) and only 10.5% had adequate (30150 ng/ml) levels, while 8.0% had vitamin D levels ≤10 ng/ml. PTH was at normal range (1565 pg/ml) for 89.7% of the population and 8.2% had high PTH (>65 pg/ml). The levels of serum Ca, P, and creatinine, were within the normal range.
Conclusions: The majority of Greek women (88%) in this study had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml. Given that low levels of 25(OH)D are associated with increased risk for fractures and exacerbate bone loss, this study highlights the emerging issue of 25(OH)D insufficiency in Greek women and the need for targeted interventions even in age groups not previously considered as at risk.
Acknowledgements: The study was supported by the Hellenic Society for the Study of Bone Metabolism.
17 May 2014 - 20 May 2014