Vitamin D deficiency and causative factors in the population of Tehran

BMC Public Health. 2004 Aug 25;4:38. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-4-38.


Background: There are multiple studies in different countries regarding the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. These studies showed high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Asian countries. This study tries to elucidate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its influencing factors in population of Tehran.

Methods: 1210 subjects 20-64 years old were randomly selected. 25 (OH) D serum levels were measured. Duration of exposure to sunlight, the type of clothing and level of calcium intake and BMI were quantified based on a questionnaire.

Results: A high percentage of vitamin D deficiency was defined in the study population. Prevalence of severe, moderate and mild Vitamin D deficiency was 9.5%, 57.6% and 14.2% respectively. Vitamin D serum levels had no significant statistical relation with the duration of exposure to sunlight, kind of clothing and BMI. Calcium intake in the normal vitamin D group was significantly higher than the other groups (714.67 +/- 330.8 mg/day vs 503.39 +/- 303.1, 577.93 +/- 304.9,595.84 +/- 313.6). Vitamin D serum levels in young and middle aged females were significantly lower than the older group.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency has a high prevalence in Tehran. In order to avoid complications of vitamin D deficiency, supplemental dietary intake seems essential.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Densitometry
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / etiology
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sunlight*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Calcium, Dietary