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Open AccessArticle

Nutrihealth Study: Seasonal Variation in Vitamin D Status Among the Slovenian Adult and Elderly Population

1
Nutrition Institute, Tržaška cesta 40, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
National Institute of Public Health, Trubarjeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
4
University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Zaloška cesta 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Faculty of pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Aškerčeva cesta 7, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
6
VIST–Higher School of Applied Sciences, Gerbičeva cesta 51A, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1838; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061838
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 16 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D in 2020: Stop or Not Yet?)
Several studies conducted around the world showed substantial vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency among different population groups. Sources of vitamin D in the human body include ultraviolet B (UVB)-light-induced biosynthesis and dietary intake, but people’s diets are often poor in vitamin D. Furthermore, in many regions, sun exposure and the intensity of UVB irradiation during wintertime are not sufficient for vitamin D biosynthesis. In Slovenia, epidemiological data about vitamin D status in the population were investigated through a national Nutrihealth study—an extension to the national dietary survey SI.Menu (2017/18). The study was conducted on a representative sample of 125 adult (18–64 years) and 155 elderly (65–74 years old) subjects, enrolled in the study in different seasons. Their vitamin D status was determined by measuring the serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration. Thresholds for vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were 25(OH)D levels below 30 and 50 nmol/L, respectively. Altogether, 24.9% of the adults and 23.5% of the elderly were found to be vitamin D deficient, while an insufficient status was found in 58.2% and 62.9%, respectively. A particularly concerning situation was observed during extended wintertime (November–April); vitamin D deficiency was found in 40.8% and 34.6%, and insufficient serum 25(OH)D levels were observed in 81.6% and 78.8%, respectively. The results of the study showed high seasonal variation in serum 25(OH)D levels in both the adult and elderly population, with deficiency being especially pronounced during wintertime. The prevalence of this deficiency in Slovenia is among the highest in Europe and poses a possible public health risk that needs to be addressed with appropriate recommendations and/or policy interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: 25(OH)vitamin D; biomarkers; dietary survey; public health; EU Menu; Slovenia; Europe 25(OH)vitamin D; biomarkers; dietary survey; public health; EU Menu; Slovenia; Europe
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hribar, M.; Hristov, H.; Gregorič, M.; Blaznik, U.; Zaletel, K.; Oblak, A.; Osredkar, J.; Kušar, A.; Žmitek, K.; Rogelj, I.; Pravst, I. Nutrihealth Study: Seasonal Variation in Vitamin D Status Among the Slovenian Adult and Elderly Population. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1838. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061838

AMA Style

Hribar M, Hristov H, Gregorič M, Blaznik U, Zaletel K, Oblak A, Osredkar J, Kušar A, Žmitek K, Rogelj I, Pravst I. Nutrihealth Study: Seasonal Variation in Vitamin D Status Among the Slovenian Adult and Elderly Population. Nutrients. 2020; 12(6):1838. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061838

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hribar, Maša; Hristov, Hristo; Gregorič, Matej; Blaznik, Urška; Zaletel, Katja; Oblak, Adrijana; Osredkar, Joško; Kušar, Anita; Žmitek, Katja; Rogelj, Irena; Pravst, Igor. 2020. "Nutrihealth Study: Seasonal Variation in Vitamin D Status Among the Slovenian Adult and Elderly Population" Nutrients 12, no. 6: 1838. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061838

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