Introduction/Background: Although vitamin D deficiency has been documented as a frequent problem in studies of young adults, elderly persons and children in other countries, there are limited data on the prevalence of this nutritional deficiency among healthy Indian adolescents. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of vitamin D status in adolescents aged 13 to 15 years.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in healthy adolescents in India.
Methods/Study Design: Observational study with Clinical evaluation for evidence of vitamin D deficiency. The study was conducted in 62 apparently healthy school adolescents (33 Male & 29 Female) of 13 to 15 years of age from Amravati City in months of January 2013. Serum calcium, alkaline phosphates & 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] measured randomly in 62 subjects
Results/Findings: Fifty-nine participants (95.16%) were vitamin D deficient (serum 25OHD level < 20 ng/dl. Using a cutoff level of 25(OH) D of ≤20 ng/ml [≤50 nmol/l] three participants (4.8 %) were having normal vitamin D level. Overall 95.2% of study participants were either vitamin D deficient or insufficient. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency varied between boys (95%) and girls (96.5%).
Discussion/Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were highly prevalent in adolescents, and more common in girls. This might be an important public health problem and in addition to its effect on the growing skeleton, hypovitaminosis D may affect other organ systems adversely. Our findings support a recommendation for vitamin D supplementation for adolescents. Vitamin D supplementation is an efficient and feasible way to maintain serum 25(OH) D levels. This supplementation is not for the prevention of hypovitaminosis D only, but also as a prophylaxis for osteoporosis.