Take Home Points
Vitamin D this and Vitamin D that…you can’t open a health section of any paper without seeing Vitamin D mentioned. Sure, preventing Vitamin D deficiency is important and measuring blood levels of Vitamin D status is ideal, but are there simpler ways of assessing Vitamin D status? Lucky for us, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an article on predicting vitamin D deficiency with simple patient characteristics! Sohl (2014) and her team from Amsterdam developed a risk profile to identify individuals at high risk for Vitamin D deficiency.
This study looked at a sample of 1,509 older Dutch people (>65 years) and identified those people with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) [a prehormone used for assessing vitamin D status]concentrations <50 and <30 nmol/L [the recommended serum 25(OH)D concentration is 30 – 50 nmol/L]. Next, an analysis of patient predictors unlocked which characteristics predict vitamin D deficiency. These predictors included sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, etc. Of those studied, 46.2% presented with levels lower than 50 nmol/L and 17.5% had concentrations lower than 30 nmol/L. The predictors from most to least influential were: older age, female sex, BMI (>30), smoking, alcohol consumption, season, no vitamin supple use, no bicycling, no sporting, no gardening, medication use, poor appetite, and without a partner. The likelihood of having Vitamin D deficiency was 2% for a 65-year-old when none of the predictors were present and 85% when all the predictors were present. For a 80-year-old the probabilities of being vitamin D deficient ranged from 6 – 94%.
This is the first prediction model for vitamin D in those with European descent. Keep in mind that ethnicity does play a role in vitamin D concentration. If you are older and of European decent, use these guidelines for vitamin D supplementation.
- Sohl E, Heymans MW, de Jongh RT, den Heijer M, Visser M, Merlijn T, Lips P, van Schoor NM. Prediction of vitamin D deficiency by simple patient characteristics. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print]
Dr. John, DPT, CSCS