The Vitamin D Council has reported on several cases of high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in certain communities. Yet another study, published in the journal, BMC Pediatrics, discovered a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Middle Eastern individuals, specifically, in school-aged children.
Researchers assessed a total of 199 school children from Kuwait between April and May of 2011. All the children had anthropometrics and serum 25(OH)D levels measured. Additionally, the researchers recorded the children’s skin type, sun exposure habits, dietary patterns and sociodemographic factors.
This is what the researchers found:
- The average age of the children was 8.5 years old.
- There were no significant differences in BMI or sociodemographic factors between boys and girls.
- Average vitamin D status was 12 ng/ml (30 nmol/l).
- Approximately 75% of the children had vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l).
- The boys had significantly higher vitamin D levels in comparison to the girls (p < 0.0001).
- Risk factors of deficiency included older age, being female and being overweight or obese (p < 0.05).
The researchers concluded,
“Our results show relatively low levels of 25(OH)D in young schoolchildren (5– 11 years old) in Kuwait, with significantly lower levels in girls.”
Alyahya, K.O. Vitamin D levels in schoolchildren: a cross-sectional study in Kuwait. BMC Pediatrics, 2017.