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UV and dietary predictors of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations among young shift-working nurses and implications for bone density and skin cancer

  • Sarah C Wallingford (a1) (a2), Glenville Jones (a3), Lindsay C Kobayashi (a1) (a2), Anne Grundy (a1) (a2), Qun Miao (a1) (a2), Joan Tranmer (a1) (a4) and Kristan J Aronson (a1) (a2)...
Abstract Objective

In 2011, the US Institute of Medicine updated the definition of vitamin D inadequacy to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration of 30–<50 nmol/l and of deficiency to serum 25(OH)D < 30 nmol/l. We describe the prevalence of these conditions according to these definitions, seasonal variation in 25(OH)D and predictors of serum 25(OH)D concentrations among working, white women.


Participants recorded lifestyle factors and dietary intake and provided fasting blood samples for measurement of serum 25(OH)D in both summer and winter. Predictors of serum 25(OH)D variation were analysed using linear regression and generalized linear mixed models.


Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, from April 2008 to July 2009.


Female premenopausal nurses (n 83) working full-time rotating shifts.


Deficient or inadequate vitamin D status was observed in 9 % of participants following summer/autumn and in 13 % following winter/spring. Predictors of serum 25(OH)D concentration were vitamin D supplement use, tanning bed use and season. Tanning bed use increased serum 25(OH)D by 23·24 nmol/l (95 % CI 8·78, 37·69 nmol/l, P = 0·002) on average.


According to the 2011 Institute of Medicine bone health guidelines, over 10 % of nurses had deficient or inadequate vitamin D status following winter. Higher serum concentrations were associated with use of tanning beds and vitamin D supplements. As health promotion campaigns and legal restrictions are successful in reducing tanning bed use among women, our data suggest that increased prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and deficiency may be a consequence, and that low vitamin D status will need to be countered with supplementation.

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