Prevalence and significance of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among apparently healthy adults

Clin Biochem. 2010 Dec;43(18):1431-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2010.09.022. Epub 2010 Sep 27.


Objective: This study aims to determine the prevalence and significance of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among apparently healthy adults.

Design and methods: A total of 123 subjects, 56.9% males and 43.1% females, were recruited from a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Questionnaires were administered to gather demographics; height, weight, and blood samples were also taken. For staging serum 25OHD, the cutoff values ≤50 nmol/L and 50.1-74.9 nmol/L were defined as deficiency and insufficiency, respectively.

Results: The mean vitamin D level in the study subjects was 41.1±9.6 nmol/L. Of them, 90% had low serum 25OHD levels: 69.9% were deficient and 21.1% had insufficient levels of 25OHD. There was a significant negative correlation between serum 25OHD and iPTH levels.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency showed that a high proportion of apparently healthy adults are at risk of developing musculoskeletal and other chronic diseases. Serum iPTH and serum 25OHD levels are better markers of this deficiency as compared to other markers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Pakistan
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D