Hypovitaminosis D in a sunny country: Time trends, predictors, and implications for practice guidelines

Maha Hoteit, Laila Al-Shaar, Cynthia Yazbeck, Maria Bou Sleiman, Tala Ghalayini, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The aim of the current study is to investigate the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in Lebanese subjects, its robust predictors, evaluate the relationship between 25 hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] and parathyroid hormone levels, and derive desirable vitamin D levels, based on a large hospital laboratory database spanning all age groups. Data from a large representative digitized database of 9147 subjects, mostly outpatients, evaluated between 2000-2004 and 2007-2008, in whom information on age, gender, service, and time of the year, was analyzed. The PTH-25(OH)D relationship was studied in a subset of 657 adult subjects, in whom such data were available. At a 25(OH)D cut-off of < 20 ng/ml, the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D ranged between 58% and 62% in pediatric subjects, 44% and 60% in adults, and 41% and 62% in elderly, in the 2 study periods. At a cut-off < 30 ng/ml, the prevalence was above 78%, in most sub-groups. Regardless of cut-off used, the only significant predictors of high mean 25(OH)D levels were the male gender in the pediatric group, and female gender in adults and elderly, summer/fall seasons, out-patient status, as well as study period. Curve fitting of the PTH-25(OH)D relationship, in adults and elderly, revealed a plateau at 25(OH)D levels of 17-21 ng/ml, depending on sub-study group. Hypovitaminosis D is prevalent in our sunny country, even using a conservative population-derived cut-off of 20 ng/ml, and thus the need for a public health strategy for supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)968-978
Number of pages11
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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