A simple questionnaire for the prediction of vitamin D deficiency in Japanese adults (Vitaimn D Deficiency questionnaire for Japanese: VDDQ-J)

  • Akiko KuwabaraEmail author
  • Naoko Tsugawa
  • Kei Mizuno
  • Honami Ogasawara
  • Yasuyoshi Watanabe
  • Kiyoshi Tanaka
Original Article


Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is associated with an increased risk of various diseases. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration is the best marker for vitamin D status and its concentration < 20 ng/mL indicates VDD. However, its measurement is not easily applicable for the evaluation of vitamin D status in the general population because of its cost. Therefore, we aimed to develop a simple questionnaire for easily identifying the risk of VDD. From the total sample (649 healthy subjects aged 19–70 years), 434 and 215 subjects were randomly assigned to the derivation and the validation cohort, respectively. Prediction model for VDD was developed by backward logistic regression analysis. The regression β coefficients of the significant predictors were transformed into integral numbers and used for the individual score. These individual scores were summed to calculate the total risk score (VDD questionnaire for Japanese score: VDDQ-J score). VDD was present in 54.1% of the total subjects. The model for the prediction of VDD consisted of 7 predictors. Areas under the curve were 0.78 and 0.75 in the data set of internal validation and of the external validation, respectively. The cutoff value was determined to be 31 points (range 0–54) with the sensitivity/specificity and positive predictive value/negative predictive value of 61%/79%, and 81%/57%, respectively. Our VDDQ-J score is easy to answer by the wide range of subjects, and well predicts VDD. This risk score would be useful to identify subjects at risk for VDD both in clinical and epidemiological settings.


Vitamin D deficiency Questionnaire Japanese Sun exposure Fish intake 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant number 16K16292.

Author contributions

We thank Takahito Kitayoshi for helpful support; Kyoko Ebisu, Satoshi Kume, Yusuke Morito, Miho Iwasaki, Kyosuke Watanabe and Yoshiko Takahashi for their contribution for data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest.

Statement of human rights

All procedures in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

774_2018_984_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Comprehensive RehabilitationOsaka Prefecture UniversityHabikinoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Health and NutritionOsaka Shoin Women’s UniversityHigashiosakaJapan
  3. 3.RIKEN Compass to Healthy Life Research Complex ProgramKobeJapan
  4. 4.Department of Faculty of NutritionKobe Gakuin UniversityKobeJapan

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