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Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its correlates: results of a community-based study conducted in Karachi, Pakistan

Abstract

Summary

Of the 305 premenopausal females in a cross-sectional study in randomly selected communities of Karachi, Pakistan, 90.1 % showed to be vitamin D deficient. Age, town of residence, and housing structure were significant predictors of vitamin D levels. Measures to address D deficiency and its associated long latency effects are urgently needed.

Aims

This study aims to find out the prevalence and risk factors of vitamin D deficiency in community-dwelling premenopausal females in Karachi.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted in randomly selected communities downtown (Saddar) and suburbs (Gulshan and Malir Town) in Karachi, Pakistan. Information related to sociodemographics (age, education, employment, and household income), housing structure, sunlight exposure, and skin pigmentation as well as dietary intake (using a food frequency questionnaire) was collected. Serum vitamins D3 levels were also measured. Mean and SD was computed for continuous variables and frequency and proportions were computed for categorical variables. Data were further analyzed by Chi-square test and ANOVA. Multiple linear regression analysis was done to find out determinants of vitamin D (VD) levels.

Results

Total of 305 premenopausal females were recruited. Mean age, BMI, and waist circumference of the study participants was 31.97 ± 8 years, 25.06 ± 5.6 kg/m2, and 88.42 ± 13.3 cm, respectively. Majority of the females were vitamin D deficient (91.50 %) with mean vitamin D levels of 21.77 ± 21.66 nm/L. Mean vitamin D levels were significantly different among females residing in downtown and suburbs. High frequency of vitamin D deficiency was observed in females dwelling in downtown (Saddar). According to the results of multiple linear regression analysis, determinants of VD levels were age, town of residence, and housing structure.

Conclusion

High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is seen in females in the community of Karachi, Pakistan. Age, town of residence, and housing structure were the significant predictors of vitamin D levels. Measures to combat the issue of D deficiency and its associated long latency effects are urgently needed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to Miss Maqboola Dojki and Miss Firdaus Shahid for their administrative support and Mr Muhammad Anwar for his support in field work. The data presented in this manuscript are part of the study “To assess the effect of dietary calcium intake and vitamin D status on bone turnover markers in Pakistani adult females,” which was funded by Pakistan Science Foundation: project no. PSF/Res/S-AKU/Med (263).

Conflicts of interest

This work was awarded best scientific presentation award at Pakistan Association of Pathologist meeting held at College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan in December, 2011. IOF Young Investigator Award: Determination of bone health status in community dwelling females in Karachi, Pakistan at International Osteoporosis Foundation Regionals—First Middle East and Africa Osteoporosis Meeting in Dubai (October 19–22, 2011). Abstract was published in Osteoporosis Int. (2011) 22(Suppl. 5):S689–696.

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Correspondence to Aysha Habib Khan.

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Both Aysha Habib Khan and Romaina Iqbal contributed equally to this study.

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Khan, A.H., Iqbal, R., Naureen, G. et al. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its correlates: results of a community-based study conducted in Karachi, Pakistan. Arch Osteoporos 7, 275–282 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11657-012-0108-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11657-012-0108-x

Keywords

  • Vitamin D deficiency (VDD)
  • Risk factors
  • Community
  • Karachi
  • Pakistan