Objectives: The vitamin D nutrition status of young adult women is unclear, but a recent preliminary report suggested that they may have vitamin D insufficiency. This study assessed the serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), an index of vitamin D nutrition status, in young adult Japanese women in comparison with those in older women and investigated whether serum 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with other calcium-related hormones and bone mass.
Methods: A cross sectional study of 77 healthy women, age 19 to 66 y, working in nursing homes in Japan was conducted in the winter of 1999 and 2000. The investigation included blood tests, forearm bone mass measurements, and a lifestyle questionnaire.
Results: The mean serum 25(OH)D concentration in women younger than 30 y was 34.0 nmol/L (standard deviation [SD] = 11.0) and significantly lower than that in women 30 y and older (50.0 nmol/L, SD = 14.4). The proportion of subjects younger than 30 y who had serum 25(OH)D concentrations less than 30 nmol/L was 42.1% and was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the proportion of those 30 y and older (10.3%). There was a weak but significant linear association between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and forearm bone mineral content (R(2) = 0.114, P = 0.0052) but not between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and bone mineral density. The association held after adjusting for body weight (R(2) = 0.139, P = 0.0111). Serum intact parathyroid hormone concentrations were within the normal range and not associated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations.
Conclusions: Serum 25(OH)D concentrations in young adult Japanese women (<30 y old) are lower than those of older adult women (30 to 66 y), and lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations are likely associated with lower forearm bone mineral content.