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Risk factors for low vitamin D status in Korean adolescents: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2009

  • Young Ah Lee (a1), Hwa Young Kim (a1), Hyunsook Hong (a2), Ji Young Kim (a1), Hyun Jin Kwon (a3), Choong Ho Shin (a1) and Sei Won Yang (a1)...
Abstract
Objective

To evaluate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and predictors for low vitamin D status in Korean adolescents living between latitudes 33° and 39°N.

Design

A descriptive cross-sectional study.

Setting

Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2009.

Subjects

A total of 1510 healthy adolescents aged 12–18 years (806 male, mean age 14·7 years) participated. Possible predictors for low vitamin D status (log-transformed 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations) were evaluated.

Results

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D<20 ng/ml) was 89·1 % in spring, 53·7 % in summer, 63·9 % in autumn and 90·5 % in winter. Winter season, older age, higher education level reached, being female, being obese, a lack of vitamin D supplementation, lower milk consumption (0–<200 ml/d) and a lack of physical activity were unadjusted predictors (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that winter season (P < 0·001), higher education level (P < 0·001) and a lack of vitamin D supplementation (P = 0·012) were independent predictors for low vitamin D status. The modifying effect of season on the association between vitamin D supplement use and vitamin D status was significant (P < 0·001).

Conclusions

Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Korean adolescents, especially those in higher school grades. Vitamin D supplementation may contribute to maintain a better vitamin D status with lower seasonal variation. Further studies are required to determine optimal vitamin D intakes to maintain sufficient vitamin D status for Korean adolescents.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email chshinpd@snu.ac.kr
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
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