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Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 266;

Sun Exposure Guidelines and Serum Vitamin D Status in Denmark: The StatusD Study

Unit of Diet, Genes and Environment, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark
Department of Prevention and Information, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark
Danish Health Authority, Health Promotion, Copenhagen DK-2300, Denmark
Technical University of Denmark, National Food Institute, Division for Diet, Disease Prevention and Toxicology, Research Group for Risk-Benefit, Søborg DK-2860, Denmark
Statens Serum Institute, Department of Congenital Disorders, Danish Centre for Neonatal Screening, Copenhagen DK-2300, Denmark
Unit of Statistics, Bioinformatics and Registry, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 14 April 2016 / Accepted: 2 May 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [879 KB, uploaded 5 May 2016]   |  


Little is known on how vitamin D status is affected by adherence to UVB-limiting sun exposure guidelines. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between adherence to the Danish sun exposure guidelines and vitamin D status. In total, 3194 Danes (2625 adults, 569 children) were recruited among the general population, and more than 92% had blood samples taken both autumn and spring. Using linear regression, we associated serum vitamin D concentrations to questionnaire responses on: seeking shade, wearing a sunhat, wearing protective clothing or using sunscreen. The odds ratio (OR) of either low (<25 or 50 nmol/L) or adequate/high (≥50 nmol/L) vitamin D status was examined using logistic regression. For adults, those who always sought shade or wore protective clothing compared to those who did not had lower levels of vitamin D (autumn concentrations for shade: 7.2 nmol/L lower (−11.0–−3.6 nmol/L); for protective clothing: 9.9 nmol/L lower (−13.6–−6.2 nmol/L). Adherence to all four guidelines was also associated with lower vitamin D concentrations (autumn: 9.7 nmol/L lower (−14.3–−5.1 nmol/L). Use of sunscreen was associated with adequate vitamin D status, as those who always sought shade compared to those who did not had an OR (95% CI) of 1.68 (1.25–2.35) of having ≥50 nmol/L during both spring and autumn. No associations were found with wearing a sunhat, and there were no clear associations for children. In conclusion, adherence to the sun exposure guidelines on shade and protective clothing was associated with lower vitamin D status among Danish adults, but not children. View Full-Text
Keywords: skin cancer; StatusD; sun exposure guidelines; vitamin D skin cancer; StatusD; sun exposure guidelines; vitamin D

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Hansen, L.; Tjønneland, A.; Køster, B.; Brot, C.; Andersen, R.; Lundqvist, M.; Christensen, J.; Olsen, A. Sun Exposure Guidelines and Serum Vitamin D Status in Denmark: The StatusD Study. Nutrients 2016, 8, 266.

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