Osteoporosis International

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 687–694

Serum 25(OH)D concentrations in sunny Israel

  • W. Saliba
  • H. S. Rennert
  • A. Kershenbaum
  • G. Rennert
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00198-011-1597-y

Cite this article as:
Saliba, W., Rennert, H.S., Kershenbaum, A. et al. Osteoporos Int (2012) 23: 687. doi:10.1007/s00198-011-1597-y

Abstract

Summary

This study assesses vitamin D status in Israel. Serum 25(OH)D levels <25 and <50 nmol/L are common in Israel with noted differences between Arabs and Jews, Arab females were particularly at high risk. These findings may require public health intervention at the population level.

Introduction

Small studies from Israel have suggested a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D. The objective of this study was to evaluate the extent of hypovitaminosis D among demographic subgroups in Israel.

Methods

The data of this study are from the Clalit Health Services (CHS) which is a non-for-profit health maintenance organization (HMO) covering more than half of the Israeli population. We included all CHS members for whom a 25(OH)D test result in 2009 was available and who were not taking vitamin D supplements in 2008–2009 before that 25(OH)D result. Complete data were available for 198,834 members.

Results

The mean level of 25(OH)D was 51.9 ± 24.5 nmol/L and was higher in summer compared to winter (P < 0.0001). Level <25, <37.5, and <50 nmol/L were detected in 14.4%, 30.7%, and 49.9% of tests; 16.4% had levels >75 nmol/L. Females had higher prevalence of 25(OH)D levels < 50 nmol/L which were found in 51.8% of females versus 45.0% in males (P < 0.0001); 76.7% of the Arabs had levels <50 nmol/L versus 46.5% in Jews (P < 0.0001). Arabs females were particularly at high risk for 25(OH)D <50 nmol/L; 84.8% of them had levels <50 nmol/L versus 48.1% of Jewish females (P < 0.0001). The relation of 25(OH)D levels with age had a sinusoidal shape among Jews, a U-shape in Arab females, and inverse linear pattern in Arab males.

Conclusions

25(OH)D levels <25 and <50 nmol/L are common in Israel. Public health measures are needed for values lesser than about 30 nmol/L and further monitoring of concentrations between about 30 and 50 nmol/L to determine if there are adverse health effects.

Keywords

25-Hydroxivitamin D Ethnicity Israel Seasonality Sun exposure Vitamin D deficiency 

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Saliba
    • 1
  • H. S. Rennert
    • 1
  • A. Kershenbaum
    • 1
  • G. Rennert
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology, Carmel Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of MedicineTechnion–Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, Office of the Chief PhysicianClalit Health Services HeadquartersTel AvivIsrael

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