A significant decline of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration [25(OH)D] with increasing latitude has been reported only for Caucasians. To determine the association between serum 25(OH)D and geographic location and its impact on bone mineral density (BMD) in an Asian population, a total of 17,508 subjects (8910 men and 8598 women) from the 2008–2010 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) were stratified into four age groups and analyzed for 25(OH)D and BMD according to geographic location (South, 33° N–35° N; Middle, 36° N; North, 37° N–38° N). Mean 25(OH)D were 47.7 and 41.2 nmol/L; calcium intake, 564.9 & 442.3 mg/d; femoral neck BMD, 0.829 & 0.721 g/cm2
; and lumbar spine BMD, 0.960 & 0.918 g/cm2
for men and women, respectively. Both men and women living in the South had significantly higher 25(OH)D and femoral neck BMD for those ≥50 years old. Lumbar spine BMD was significantly higher in men ≥50 years old, and for women 10–29 & 50–69 years old living in the South. A 1 or 2 degree difference in latitude has a significant effect on serum 25(OH)D and BMD in this low vitamin D status population. Thus, consideration of geographic location for a recommendation of vitamin D intake may be necessary.
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