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Bone Abstracts (2017) 6 P152 | DOI: 10.1530/boneabs.6.P152

ICCBH2017 Poster Presentations (1) (209 abstracts)

Seasonal variation in internet searches for vitamin D

Rebecca Moon 1, , Elizabeth Curtis 1 , Justin Davies 2 , Cyrus Cooper 1, & Nicholas Harvey 1,

1MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire, UK; 2Paediatric Endocrinology, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, Hampshrie, UK; 3NIHR Southampton Nutrition Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, Hampshire, UK; 4NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK.

Objective: Over the last decade, there has been increasing scientific interest in vitamin D, and it is now advised that all pregnant women and infants should receive vitamin D supplementation. Despite of this, it is recognized that knowledge of vitamin D in the general public is limited. The internet is now an important source of health care information and analysis of internet search activity rates can provide information on disease epidemiology, health related behaviors and public interest. We therefore explored internet search rates for “vitamin D” to determine whether this reflects the increasing scientific interest in this topic.

Methods: Google Trends is a publically available tool that provides data on internet searches using Google. Search activity for the term “vitamin D” from 1st January 2004 until 31st October 2016 was obtained. Comparison was made to other bone and nutrition related terms.

Results: Worldwide, searches for “vitamin D” increased from 2004 until 2010. Thereafter a statistically significant (P<0.001) seasonal pattern with a peak in February and nadir in August was observed. This seasonal pattern was evident for searches originating from both the USA (peak in February) and Australia (peak in August), P<0.001 for both. Searches for the terms “osteoporosis”, “rickets”, “back pain” or “folic acid” did not display the increase observed for vitamin D or evidence of seasonal variation.

Conclusion: Public interest in vitamin D, as assessed by internet search activity, did increase from 2004 to 2010, likely reflecting the growing scientific interest, but now displays a seasonal pattern with peak interest during late winter. This information could be used to guide public health approaches to managing vitamin D deficiency and increasing uptake of supplementation in at risk groups.

Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.

Volume 6

8th International Conference on Children's Bone Health


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