Widespread vitamin D deficiency among Indian health care professionals

Arch Osteoporos. 2012;7:187-92. doi: 10.1007/s11657-012-0096-x. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


Information on vitamin D status of Indian health care professionals is limited. Among 2,119 subjects studied, just 6 % were found to be sufficient in vitamin D status. There is urgent need of an integrated approach to detect and treat vitamin D deficiency among health care professionals to improve on-the-job productivity.

Introduction: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide. India has been reported to be one of the worst affected countries. Several single-center studies from India have shown high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. Little is known regarding the vitamin D status of Indian health care professionals.

Aim: This study aimed to determine prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among health care professionals in different regions of India.

Method: In this cross-sectional, multicenter study, we enrolled 2,119 medical and paramedical personnel from 18 Indian cities. Blood samples were collected from December 2010 to March 2011 and analyzed in a central laboratory by radioimmunoassay. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] <20 ng/mL or <50 nmol/L, insufficiency as 25(OH)D = 20-30 ng/mL or 50-75 nmol/L, and sufficiency as 25(OH)D >30 ng/mL or >75 nmol/L.

Results: Mean (±SD) age of subjects was 42.71 ± 6.8 years. Mean (±SD) 25(OH)D level was 14.35 ± 10.62 ng/mL (median 11.93 ng/mL). Seventy-nine percent of subjects were deficient, 15 % were insufficient, and just 6 % were sufficient in vitamin D status. No significant difference was found between vitamin D status in southern (25(OH)D = 13.3 ± 6.4 ng/mL) and northern (25(OH)D = 14.4 ± 8.5 ng/mL) parts of India.

Conclusion: Our study confirms the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency all across India in apparently healthy, middle-aged health care professionals.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allied Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Occupations / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*