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Researchers report an extremely high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Indian women

Posted on: September 27, 2017   by  Vitamin D Council


Vitamin D deficiency is very common within the Indian populations, with an estimation prevalence ranging from 70-100%. Additionally, there have been reports of very high numbers of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women living in rural, northern India. In order to gain more insight on the variance of deficiency throughout various Indian communities, researchers recently explored the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in women living in the rural community of Ballabgarh, India.

Researchers included a total of 381 women between the ages of 20-60 years in this study. Home interviews were conducted for all of the women which assessed lifestyle behaviors, diet patterns and physical activity levels. Additionally, serum blood draws were administered in order to measure 25(OH)D levels for all the participants. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as having levels below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L), vitamin D insufficiency was defined as having levels between 20-32 ng/ml (50-80 nmol/L) and vitamin D sufficiency was defined as having levels above 32 ng/ml (80 nmol/L).

This is what the researchers found:

  • Vitamin D deficiency was found in 90.8% of the participants (95%CI:  87.5–93.3)
  • Vitamin D insufficiency was found in 8.9% of the participants (95% CI: 6.4–12.2).
  • Of the 381 women, only one individual was found to have vitamin D sufficiency.

The researchers concluded:

“Very high prevalence of VDD was observed in the females (20–60 years) of the Ballabgarh Health and Demographics Surveillance System. Further to it, this study has found that females though residing in rural area where sun exposure is good, still have VDD.”


Misra, P. Vitamin D status of adult females residing in Ballabgarh health and demographic surveillance system: A community-based study. Indian Journal of Public Health, 2017.


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