Sunlight and dietary contributions to the seasonal vitamin D status of cohorts of healthy postmenopausal women living at northerly latitudes: a major cause for concern?

H M Macdonald, A Mavroeidi, WD Fraser, A L Darling, A J Black, L Aucott, F O'Neill, K Hart, J L Berry, S A Lanham-New, D M Reid

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Abstract

We assessed sunlight and dietary contributions to vitamin D status in British postmenopausal women. Our true longitudinal 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) measurements varied seasonally, being lower in the north compared to the south and lower in Asian women. Sunlight exposure in summer and spring provided 80% total annual intake of vitamin D. INTRODUCTION: Vitamin D deficiency is highlighted as a potential problem for countries at high latitude, but there are few true longitudinal, seasonal data to allow regional comparisons. We aimed to directly compare seasonal variation in vitamin D status (25(OH)D) in postmenopausal women at two northerly latitudes and to assess the relative contributions of sunlight exposure and diet. METHODS: Vitamin D status was assessed in 518 postmenopausal women (age 55-70 years) in a two-centre cohort study with serum collected at fixed three-monthly intervals from summer 2006 for immunoassay measurement of 25(OH)D and parathyroid hormone. At 57° N (Aberdeen, Scotland, UK), there were 338 Caucasian women; at 51° N (Surrey, South of England, UK), there were 144 Caucasian women and 35 Asian women. UVB exposure (polysulphone film badges) and dietary vitamin D intakes (food diaries) were also estimated. RESULTS: Caucasian women had lower 25(OH)D (p?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2461-2472
JournalOsteoporosis International
Volume22
Issue number9
Early online date18 Nov 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

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