Horm Metab Res 2010; 42(5): 364-368
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1248296
Humans, Clinical

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Vitamin D Deficiency in Saudi Arabs

M. Y. Elsammak1 , A. A. Al-Wosaibi2 , A. Al-Howeish3 , J. Alsaeed2
  • 1Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, King Fahd Hospital Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • 2Department of Endocrinology, King Fahd Hospital Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, King Fahd University Hospital Al-Khobar, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Further Information

Publication History

received 22.07.2009

accepted 25.01.2010

Publication Date:
08 March 2010 (online)

Abstract

Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone metabolism and many cellular and immunological processes. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with various chronic diseases especially rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. Adequate vitamin D intake is of paramount importance to protect against bone metabolic diseases and prevent the occurrence of complications (e. g., fracture and bone pains). This study aimed at the evaluation of vitamin D levels in a cohort of healthy Saudi Arabs. The comprised 139 healthy subjects coming for regular blood donation. Participants had full clinical examination and evaluation of their calcium and vitamin D intake and the degree of exposure to sunlight. Serum 25-OH vitamin D was determined using Liasion chemiluminescent immunoassay and serum parathormone levels were determined using the Architect 2 000 immunochemiluminescent assay. Our results showed increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency between Saudi Arabs (both males and females) in the studied group of subjects. Serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) did not correlate with serum vitamin D level in either male or female groups (p<0.01). Our data illustrate a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency between Saudi Arabs and the importance for screening for vitamin D deficiency (irrespective of PTH level). We hypothesize that the reported vitamin D deficiency in the studied group of Saudi Arabs may reflect a possible inadequacy of the current level of vitamin D fortification of food products. We suggest that higher level of fortification of food products with vitamin D may be needed to compensate for the reduced skin vitamin D synthesis due to poor exposure to sunlight and to reverse this state of vitamin D deficiency in Saudi Arabs.

References

Correspondence

Dr. M. Y. Elsammak

King Fahd Hospital Dammam

POB: 15215

Dammam

Saudi Arabia

Phone: +966 5029 52230

Fax: +966 3843 1111

Email: [email protected]