JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, vol.135, no.2, pp.218-222, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Vitamin D deficiency continues to be a worldwide problem, especially in developing countries. The aim of this study was to investigate potential risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Girls (n = 89) aged 13 to 17 y were enrolled in the study. Study subjects were stratified into 3 groups: Group I included girls living in a suburban area; Group 11 girls lived in an urban area, and Group III girls lived in an urban area and wore concealing clothes for religious reasons. At the end of winter (in April) serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels were measured and dietary data were collected using questionnaires. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25(OH)D concentration < 25 nmol/L, and insufficiency as a 25(OH)D concentration between 25 and 50 nmol/L. The lumbar and femur neck bone mineral densities (BMD) were measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Overall, 39 girls (43.8%) had vitamin D insufficiency and 19 (21.3%) had vitamin D deficiency. In group III (wearing covered dress) the serum 25(OH)D concentrations (28.13 +/- 12.53 nmol/L) were significantly lower than in the other 2 groups, and within this group, 50% of girls were vitamin D deficient. The lumbar and femur neck BMD of girls with lower 25(OH)D levels did not differ from those with adequate vitamin D levels. We conclude that vitamin D deficiency is an important problem in Turkish adolescent girls, especially in those who follow a religious dress code; therefore, vitamin D supplementation appears to be necessary for adolescent girls.