Objective: To determine vitamin D and bone status in adolescent girls, pre-menopausal women and men of Pakistani origin, to single out determinants of vitamin D status and to determine the association between vitamin D status, bone metabolism and bone status.
Subjects/methods: Cross-sectional study, Copenhagen (55 degrees N), January-November. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25OHD), serum intact parathyroid hormone (S-iPTH), bone turnover markers and whole body and lumbar spine bone mineral density were measured. Sun, smoking and clothing habits, age, body mass index (BMI), and vitamin D and calcium from food and from supplements were recorded. Thirty-seven girls (median age, range: 12.2 years, 10.1-14.7), 115 women (36.2 years, 18.1-52.7) and 95 men (38.3 years, 17.9-63.5) of Pakistani origin (immigrants or descendants with Pakistani parents) took part in the study.
Results: Median concentration of S-25OHD was 10.9, 12.0 and 20.7 nmol/l for girls, women and men, respectively. Forty-seven per cent of the girls, 37% of the women and 24% of the men had elevated S-iPTH, and there was a negative relationship between S-iPTH and S-25OHD. Use of vitamin D-containing supplements had a positive association with S-25OHD for men (P=0.04) and women (P=0.0008). Twenty-one per cent of the women and 34% of the men had osteopenia. Neither S-25OHD nor S-iPTH was associated with lumbar spine or whole body bone mineral content.
Conclusions: Severely low vitamin D status and elevated S-iPTH is common among Pakistani immigrants in Denmark. The low vitamin D status is not associated with bone markers or bone mass among relatively young Pakistanis.