Serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D in employees of a Middle Eastern university hospital
- First Online:
The Middle East registers the highest rate of vitamin D deficiency worldwide. In Lebanon, previous studies looked at this deficiency in schoolchildren, university students, young adults and postmenopausal women. However, no previous study was performed in hospital workers. The objective of our study was to evaluate vitamin D status in a Beirut hospital center and to look at the potential factors influencing these measurements.
This cross-sectional study was performed on hospital employees who came for a regular checkup at the primary health-care department. 25(OH)D measurements were performed using the Dia-Sorin chemiluminescent assay.
392 subjects (318 women and 74 men) were included in the study. The mean age of the participants was 41.02 ± 11.3 years. The mean 25(OH)D level was 15.61 ± 7.91 ng/ml, with no significant difference according to gender. There were no significant correlations between 25(OH)D and both BMI and age, but 25(OH)D was significantly associated with educational level (p = 0.03). There was a significant difference in 25(OH)D levels according to season (p < 0.001) and a significant association between 25(OH)D and the reported weekly hours of sun exposure (r = 0.1, p = 0.032), but not with the reported sunscreen use. Fish consumption was positively associated with 25(OH)D levels (p = 0.018), while milk, dairy product or egg consumption did not achieve any significant relationship. In a stepwise linear regression analysis, fish consumption and season were the only independent predictors of 25(OH)D levels (p = 0.007 and p = 0.0001 respectively).
Vitamin D deficiency is common among hospital workers. This finding reinforces the need for vitamin D supplementation in these high-risk populations.