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Vitamin D Status in Children in Greece and Its Relationship with Sunscreen Application

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Department of Hematology, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400000 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Unit of Amaliada, General Hospital of Ileia, Amaliada, 27200 Ileia, Greece
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Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400337 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Family Medicine Department, Health Center of Gastouni, 27300 Ileia, Greece
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Clinical Chemistry Department, Private Laboratory Medicine, Amaliada, 27200 Ileia, Greece
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National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
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Department of Hematology, Ion Chiricuta Oncology Institute, 400010 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Karel Allegaert and Navin Pinto
Children 2021, 8(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8020111
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 5 February 2021
The aim of this study was to characterize the prevalence and seasonal variation of vitamin D (vit D) deficiency/insufficiency in healthy children and adolescents in Greece, and to explore its relationship with the use of sunscreens. The serum level of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured in 376 children and adolescents (184 males and 192 females) with a mean age of 7.6 ± 4.9 years, at different time points over a period of 13 months. The prevalence of low serum 25(OH)D level, including deficiency and insufficiency, was 66.2%. The lowest mean 25(OH)D was observed in the month of January (17.9 ± 6.8 ng/mL) and the highest in September, July, August, and October (34.6 ± 8.7, 33.0 ± 9.4, 30.1 ± 8.2, and 30.1 ± 10.6 ng/mL, respectively). Higher levels of serum 25(OH)D were detected in the children to whom sunscreens had been applied on the beach (p = 0.001) or off the beach (p < 0.001). The subjects with deficiency and insufficiency were significantly older than those with normal levels of 25(OH)D, but no significant differences were demonstrated according to gender. This study emphasizes the high prevalence of low serum levels of 25(OH)D and their seasonal variation in children living in a region characterized by many hours of sunshine. Our data suggest that the real-life use of sunscreens during the summer months allows sufficient sunlight to be received to enable production of vit D at a level adequate to maintain normal serum levels. Vit D supplements should be given to children during the months of lower sun exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; sunshine; vitamin D deficiency; vitamin D insufficiency; vitamin D sufficiency; sunscreens vitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; sunshine; vitamin D deficiency; vitamin D insufficiency; vitamin D sufficiency; sunscreens
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MDPI and ACS Style

Feketea, G.M.; Bocsan, I.C.; Tsiros, G.; Voila, P.; Stanciu, L.A.; Zdrenghea, M. Vitamin D Status in Children in Greece and Its Relationship with Sunscreen Application. Children 2021, 8, 111. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8020111

AMA Style

Feketea GM, Bocsan IC, Tsiros G, Voila P, Stanciu LA, Zdrenghea M. Vitamin D Status in Children in Greece and Its Relationship with Sunscreen Application. Children. 2021; 8(2):111. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8020111

Chicago/Turabian Style

Feketea, Gavriela M., Ioana C. Bocsan, Georgios Tsiros, Panagiota Voila, Luminita A. Stanciu, and Mihnea Zdrenghea. 2021. "Vitamin D Status in Children in Greece and Its Relationship with Sunscreen Application" Children 8, no. 2: 111. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8020111

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