Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 180–183 | Cite as

Seasonal Variation in the Deficiency of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 in Mildly to Extremely Obese Subjects.

  • Barbara Ernst
  • Martin Thurnheer
  • Sebastian M. Schmid
  • Britta Wilms
  • Bernd SchultesEmail author
Research Article



Vitamin D deficiency is a common finding in obese subjects even before any bariatric operation. However, most previous studies reporting on high rates of vitamin D deficiency in obese subjects have not systematically controlled for seasonal variations. Furthermore, the existence of seasonal variation in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels has not been well documented in obese subjects so far.


Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were measured in 248 obese subjects (body mass index: range, 30.1–68.9 kg/m2). Fat mass was determined using standard bioelectrical impedance analysis.


Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels decreased with the increasing body mass index and fat mass (both P < 0.001) and showed a marked variation across the seasons of the year (P < 0.001), which was not affected by the degree of obesity. According to the variation in absolute levels, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/l) was 3.8-fold higher during winter than during summer (91.2% vs. 24.3%; P < 0.001).


Data show a marked seasonal variation in absolute serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations and prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in subjects with mild to extreme obesity. Considering the increasing number of studies reporting on vitamin D deficiency in obesity, the present finding points to season as a crucial factor that should not be neglected when assessing serum levels of this vitamin in obese subjects.


Vitamin D Seasonal variation Obesity 



The authors have no commercial interest to disclose. The study was financially supported by a grant from Johnson & Johnson. The funder had no role in the study design, analysis, and publication of the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Ernst
    • 1
  • Martin Thurnheer
    • 1
  • Sebastian M. Schmid
    • 2
  • Britta Wilms
    • 2
  • Bernd Schultes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Obesity CenterKantonsspital St. GallenRorschachSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine IUniversity of LuebeckLuebeckGermany

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