Vitamin D Status Among The Multiethnic Adolescents In A Tropical Country

Program: Abstracts - Orals, Featured Poster Presentations, and Posters
Session: MON 596-630-Pediatric Endocrinology
Monday, June 17, 2013: 1:45 PM-3:45 PM
Expo Halls ABC (Moscone Center)

Poster Board MON-613
Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin*, Nurshadia Samingan, Noorasekin Saiman, Aisha Fadhilah Abang Abdullah, Noor Arliena Mat Amin, Nur Fafwati Faridatul Akmar Mohammad and Fatimah Harun
University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Introduction: Vitamin D deficiency has become one of the major health concerns among children and adolescents worldwide. Many studies have described variation in vitamin D status in different ethnic population and geographical location, as well as degree of adiposity. However, to date, there is limited data concerning vitamin D status of Asian children/adolescents especially from the South East Asian countries.

Objectives: To determine the vitamin D status of the multiethnic adolescents in Malaysia (tropical country) and its association with gender, ethnicity and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: A cross sectional study in secondary school adolescents aged 13 -17 years was performed between April 2011 and July 2012.  Height, weight and waist circumference were measured. Blood for 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid (PTH) were obtained. Demographic data such as age, gender and ethnicity were collected.

Results: A total of 543 children volunteered, 384 (70.7%) were females. Majority were Malays (57.6%) followed by Indians (26.3%) and Chinese (16.0%). About half (49.4%) were overweight/obese. Most of them (62.6%) were vitamin D deficient (<20ng/ml), 31.1% were vitamin D insufficient (20-30ng/ml) and only 5.7% were vitamin D sufficient (≥30ng/ml).  Females had lower mean vitamin D level (17.3±6.4ng/ml) compared to males (21.4±7.8ng/ml) (p<0.001). The Chinese had the highest mean vitamin D level (26.4±6.6ng/ml), followed by Malays (17.7±6.8ng/ml) and Indians (15.8±5.3ng/ml) (p<0.001).  Vitamin D deficiency was also observed to be more prevalent in the overweight/ obese group (68.2% versus 57.2%; p=0.009) and the mean vitamin D level was also lower in the overweight/obese group compared to the non-overweight/obese group (17.7±6.4ng/ml vs. 19.2±7.8ng/ml; p=0.018).

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in Malaysian adolescents despite its sunlight abundance. Lower vitamin D level is associated with female gender, ethnic group with darker skin complexion and obesity.

Nothing to Disclose: MYJ, NS, NS, AFA, NAM, NFFAM, FH

*Please take note of The Endocrine Society's News Embargo Policy at

Sources of Research Support: University Malaya Research Grant RG304/11HTM