To examine the association between vitamin C and cataract in the Indian setting.
Population-based cross-sectional analytic study.
A total of 5638 people aged ≥60 years.
Enumeration of randomly sampled villages in 2 areas of north and south India to identify people aged ≥60 years. Participants were interviewed for socioeconomic and lifestyle factors (tobacco, alcohol, household cooking fuel, work, and diet); attended a clinical examination, including lens photography; and provided a blood sample for antioxidant analysis. Plasma vitamin C was measured using an enzyme-based assay in plasma stabilized with metaphosphoric acid, and other antioxidants were measured by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography.
Main Outcome Measures
Cataract and type of cataract were graded from digital lens images using the Lens Opacity Classification System III (LOCS III), and cataract was classified from the grade in the worse eye of ≥4 for nuclear cataract, ≥3 for cortical cataract, and ≥2 for posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC). Any cataract was defined as any unoperated or operated cataract.
Of 7518 enumerated people, 5638 (75%) provided data on vitamin C, antioxidants, and potential confounders. Vitamin C was inversely associated with cataract (adjusted odds ratio [OR] for highest to lowest quartile = 0.61; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.51–0.74; P=1.1×10−6). Inclusion of other antioxidants in the model (lutein, zeaxanthin, retinol, β-carotene, and α-tocopherol) made only a small attenuation to the result (OR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.57–0.82; P < 0.0001). Similar results were seen with vitamin C by type of cataract: nuclear cataract (adjusted OR 0.66; CI, 0.54–0.80; P < 0.0001), cortical cataract (adjusted OR 0.70; CI, 0.54–0.90; P < 0.002), and PSC (adjusted OR 0.58; CI, 0.45–0.74; P < 0.00003). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and retinol were significantly inversely associated with cataract, but the associations were weaker and not consistently observed by type of cataract. Inverse associations were also observed for dietary vitamin C and cataract.
We found a strong association with vitamin C and cataract in a vitamin C–depleted population.
The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.
The unified global efforts to mitigate the high burden of vitamin and mineral deficiency, known as hidden hunger, in populations around the world are crucial to the achievement of most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We developed indices and maps of global hidden hunger to help prioritize program assistance, and to serve as an evidence-based global advocacy tool. Two types of hidden hunger indices and maps were created based on i) national prevalence data on stunting, anemia due to iron deficiency, and low serum retinol levels among preschool-aged children in 149 countries; and ii) estimates of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) attributed to micronutrient deficiencies in 136 countries. A number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as India and Afghanistan, had an alarmingly high level of hidden hunger, with stunting, iron deficiency anemia, and vitamin A deficiency all being highly prevalent. The total DALY rates per 100,000 population, attributed to micronutrient deficiencies, were generally the highest in sub-Saharan African countries. In 36 countries, home to 90% of the world’s stunted children, deficiencies of micronutrients were responsible for 1.5-12% of the total DALYs. The pattern and magnitude of iodine deficiency did not conform to that of other micronutrients. The greatest proportions of children with iodine deficiency were in the Eastern Mediterranean (46.6%), European (44.2%), and African (40.4%) regions. The current indices and maps provide crucial data to optimize the prioritization of program assistance addressing global multiple micronutrient deficiencies. Moreover, the indices and maps serve as a useful advocacy tool in the call for increased commitments to scale up effective nutrition interventions.
STUDY OBJECTIVE—To determine the contribution of different foods to the estimated intakes of vitamin C among those differing in plasma vitamin C levels, and thereby inform dietary strategies for correcting possible deficiency.
DESIGN—Cross sectional random population survey.
SETTING—North Glasgow, Scotland, 1992.
PARTICIPANTS—632 men and 635 women, aged 25 to 74 years, not taking vitamin supplements, who participated in the third MONICA study (population survey monitoring trends and determinants of cardiovascular disease).
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS—Dietary and sociodemographic information was collected using a food frequency and lifestyle questionnaire. Plasma vitamin C was measured in non-fasted venous blood samples and subjects categorised by cut points of 11.4 and 22.7 µmol/l as being of low, marginal or optimal vitamin C status. Food sources of dietary vitamin C were identified for subjects in these categories. Plasma vitamin C concentrations were compared among groups classified according to intake of key foods. More men (26%) than women (14%) were in the low category for vitamin C status; as were a higher percentage of smokers and of those in the older age groups. Intake of vitamin C from potatoes and chips (fried potatoes) was uniform across categories; while the determinants of optimal versus low status were the intakes of citrus fruit, non-citrus fruit and fruit juice. Optimal status was achieved by a combined frequency of fruit, vegetables and/or fruit juice of three times a day or more except in older male smokers where a frequency greater than this was required even to reach a marginal plasma vitamin C level.
CONCLUSION—Fruit, vegetables and/or fruit juice three or more times a day increases plasma vitamin C concentrations above the threshold for risk of deficiency.
Keywords: vitamin C; food frequency; fruit; vegetables
Vitamin D and calcium insufficiencies are risk factors for multiple chronic diseases. Data from 46 recent studies from Europe, North America, South-East Asia and the South Pacific area clearly indicate that a low vitamin D status and inadequate calcium nutrition are highly prevalent in the general population (30–80%), affecting both genders. The extent of insufficiencies is particularly high in older populations, and in some geographical areas, also in children and in young women of child-bearing age, in ethnic minorities and immigrants, as well as in people of low socio-economic status. Enrichment of cereal grain products with vitamin D and calcium would be a viable approach to increase consumption and improve health outcomes in the general population worldwide.
vitamin D status; calcium intake; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D; calcium-sensing receptor; osteoporosis; colorectal cancer; breast cancer; prevention; food fortification
We investigated whether previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of EPHA2 in European studies are associated with cataract in India.
We carried out a population-based genetic association study. We enumerated randomly sampled villages in two areas of north and south India to identify people aged 40 and over. Participants attended a clinical examination including lens photography and provided a blood sample for genotyping. Lens images were graded by the Lens Opacification Classification System (LOCS III). Cataract was defined as a LOCS III grade of nuclear ≥4, cortical ≥3, posterior sub-capsular (PSC) ≥2, or dense opacities or aphakia/pseudophakia in either eye. We genotyped SNPs rs3754334, rs7543472 and rs11260867 on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using TaqMan assays in an ABI 7900 real-time PCR. We used logistic regression with robust standard errors to examine the association between cataract and the EPHA2 SNPs, adjusting for age, sex and location.
7418 participants had data on at least one of the SNPs investigated. Genotype frequencies of controls were in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (p>0.05). There was no association of rs3754334 with cataract or type of cataract. Minor allele homozygous genotypes of rs7543472 and rs11260867 compared to the major homozygote genotype were associated with cortical cataract, Odds ratio (OR) = 1.8, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) (1.1, 3.1) p = 0.03 and 2.9 (1.2, 7.1) p = 0.01 respectively, and with PSC cataract, OR = 1.5 (1.1, 2.2) p = 0.02 and 1.8 (0.9, 3.6) p = 0.07 respectively. There was no consistent association of SNPs with nuclear cataract or a combined variable of any type of cataract including operated cataract.
Our results in the Indian population agree with previous studies of the association of EPHA2 variants with cortical cataracts. We report new findings for the association with PSC which is particularly prevalent in Indians.
Aims and Objectives:
To estimate serum vitamin B12 levels in type 1 diabetes and to evaluate the influence of duration of diabetes, diabetic control, and age on B 12 levels.
Importance of Study:
Vitamin B12 deficiency is known to be associated with autoimmune disorders. However, currently there is very limited and controversial data regarding the prevalence of B12 deficiency in type 1 diabetes in South Indian population. If our study demonstrates the presence of low serum B12 levels in type1 diabetes in our population, a recommendation for regular screening and supplementation of vitamin B12 could be considered in these patients.
Materials and Methods:
This was a cross- sectional study. Ninety type 1 diabetic patients (44 males and 46 females) were randomly selected based on inclusion/ exclusion criteria from the diabetes registry at Bangalore Diabetes Centre. Serum vitamin B12 level and parameters for diabetic controls were estimated using fully automated methods. All statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS version 16.
The study showed that 45.5% of the diabetics had low B12 using the manufacturer's cut – off of 180 pg/mL and 54% had low B12 using the published cut – off of 148 pmol/l (200pg/mL). There was no significant difference in B12 levels between males and females (mean difference = - 14.3: P > 0.05). The study did not demonstrate any significant correlation between vitamin B12 levels and age, duration of diabetes, and diabetes control (the r values being – 0.18, - 0.11, and - 0.08 respectively and the P-value > 0.05).
Results of our study shows the presence of low serum B12 levels in type 1 diabetics. These findings merits further research on a larger population to investigate into the cause of deficiency and the benefit of B12 supplementation in these patients.
Vitamin B12 deficiency; type 1 diabetes; duration of diabetes; diabetic control
To describe the prevalence of cataract in older people in 2 areas of north and south India.
Population-based, cross-sectional study.
Randomly sampled villages were enumerated to identify people aged ≥60 years. Of 7518 enumerated people, 78% participated in a hospital-based ophthalmic examination.
The examination included visual acuity measurement, dilatation, and anterior and posterior segment examination. Digital images of the lens were taken and graded by type and severity of opacity using the Lens Opacity Classification System III (LOCS III).
Main Outcome Measures
Age- and gender-standardized prevalence of cataract and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We defined type of cataract based on the LOCS III grade in the worse eye of: ≥4 for nuclear cataract, ≥3 for cortical cataract, and ≥2 for posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC). Any unoperated cataract was based on these criteria or ungradable dense opacities. Any cataract was defined as any unoperated or operated cataract.
The prevalence of unoperated cataract in people aged ≥60 was 58% in north India (95% CI, 56–60) and 53% (95% CI, 51–55) in south India (P = 0.01). Nuclear cataract was the most common type: 48% (95% CI, 46–50) in north India and 38% (95% CI, 37–40) in south India (P<0.0001); corresponding figures for PSC were 21% (95% CI, 20–23) and 17% (95% CI, 16–19; P = 0.003), respectively, and for cortical cataract 7.6% (95% CI, 7–9) and 10.2% (95% CI, 9–11; P<0.004). Bilateral aphakia/pseudophakia was slightly higher in the south (15.5%) than in the north (13.2%; P<0.03). The prevalence of any cataracts was similar in north (73.8%) and south India (71.8%). The prevalence of unoperated cataract increased with age and was higher in women than men (odds ratio [OR], 1.8). Aphakia/pseudophakia was also more common in women, either unilateral (OR, 1.2; P<0.02) or bilateral (OR, 1.3; P<0.002).
We found high rates of unoperated cataract in older people in north and south India. Posterior subcapsular cataract was more common than in western studies. Women had higher rates of cataract, which was not explained by differential access to surgery.
The authors have no proprietary or commercial interest in any of the materials discussed in this article.
In north India, vitamin A deficiency (retinol <0·70 μmol/L) is common in pre-school children and 2–3% die at ages 1·0–6·0 years. We aimed to assess whether periodic vitamin A supplementation could reduce this mortality.
Participants in this cluster-randomised trial were pre-school children in the defined catchment areas of 8338 state-staffed village child-care centres (under-5 population 1 million) in 72 administrative blocks. Groups of four neighbouring blocks (clusters) were cluster-randomly allocated in Oxford, UK, between 6-monthly vitamin A (retinol capsule of 200 000 IU retinyl acetate in oil, to be cut and dripped into the child's mouth every 6 months), albendazole (400 mg tablet every 6 months), both, or neither (open control). Analyses of retinol effects are by block (36 vs 36 clusters). The study spanned 5 calendar years, with 11 6-monthly mass-treatment days for all children then aged 6–72 months. Annually, one centre per block was randomly selected and visited by a study team 1–5 months after any trial vitamin A to sample blood (for retinol assay, technically reliable only after mid-study), examine eyes, and interview caregivers. Separately, all 8338 centres were visited every 6 months to monitor pre-school deaths (100 000 visits, 25 000 deaths at ages 1·0–6·0 years [the primary outcome]). This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00222547.
Estimated compliance with 6-monthly retinol supplements was 86%. Among 2581 versus 2584 children surveyed during the second half of the study, mean plasma retinol was one-sixth higher (0·72 [SE 0·01] vs 0·62 [0·01] μmol/L, increase 0·10 [SE 0·01] μmol/L) and the prevalence of severe deficiency was halved (retinol <0·35 μmol/L 6% vs 13%, decrease 7% [SE 1%]), as was that of Bitot's spots (1·4% vs 3·5%, decrease 2·1% [SE 0·7%]). Comparing the 36 retinol-allocated versus 36 control blocks in analyses of the primary outcome, deaths per child-care centre at ages 1·0–6·0 years during the 5-year study were 3·01 retinol versus 3·15 control (absolute reduction 0·14 [SE 0·11], mortality ratio 0·96, 95% CI 0·89–1·03, p=0·22), suggesting absolute risks of death between ages 1·0 and 6·0 years of approximately 2·5% retinol versus 2·6% control. No specific cause of death was significantly affected.
DEVTA contradicts the expectation from other trials that vitamin A supplementation would reduce child mortality by 20–30%, but cannot rule out some more modest effect. Meta-analysis of DEVTA plus eight previous randomised trials of supplementation (in various different populations) yielded a weighted average mortality reduction of 11% (95% CI 5–16, p=0·00015), reliably contradicting the hypothesis of no effect.
UK Medical Research Council, USAID, World Bank (vitamin A donated by Roche).
Accumulating evidence suggests an increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the Middle East. In this context, we aimed to determine whether the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is related to degree of physical activity and sun exposure among apparently healthy Saudi children and adolescents, a little studied population.
A total of 331 Saudi children aged 6–17 years (153 boys and 178 girls) were included in this cross sectional study. Levels of physical activity and sun exposure were determined using a standard questionnaire. Anthropometry, serum calcium and 25-(OH) vitamin D were analyzed.
All subjects were vitamin D deficient, the majority being moderately deficient (71.6%). Age was the single most significant predictor affecting 25 (OH) Vitamin D levels, explaining 21% of the variance perceived (p = 1.68 x 10-14). Age-matched comparisons revealed that for groups having the same amount of sun exposure, those with moderate or are physically active will have higher levels of vitamin D status, though levels in across groups remained deficient.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among Saudi children and adolescents, and is influenced by both sun exposure and physical activity. Promotion of an active outdoor lifestyle among Saudi children in both homes and schools may counteract the vitamin D deficiency epidemic in this vulnerable population. Vitamin D supplementation is suggested in all groups, including those with the highest sun exposure and physical activity.
Vitamin D; Saudi children
Vitamin D deficiency has been documented across all age groups and both sexes from India. However, there is paucity of data on vitamin D deficiency in a particular cohort of population.
To assess the vitamin D status in a cohort of physicians and diabetologists in Kolkata.
Material and Methods:
An observational cross sectional study carried out in the month of December 2011 in a cohort of 40 physicians and diabetologists in Kolkata.
A total of 40 subjects were studied. Mean age of the cohort was 52.22 ± 10.91. Mean serum vitamin D level was 13.02 ± 4.77 ng/ml. Nearly 92.5% and 5.0% of subjects had vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, respectively.
Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in physicians and diabetologists in Kolkata.
Bone mineral density; highly prevalent; Kolkata; physicians and diabetologists; vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency
Vitamin A deficiency and malaria are both highly prevalent health problems in Africa. Vitamin A deficiency affects over 30 million children, most of whom are in the age-group (under five years) most affected by malaria. Vitamin A deficiency increases all-cause mortality in this part of the population, and malaria is an important cause of death in children at this age. A low serum retinol concentration (a marker of vitamin A deficiency) is commonly found in children suffering from malaria, but it is not certain whether this represents pre-existing vitamin A deficiency, a contribution of malaria to vitamin A deficiency, or merely an acute effect of malaria on retinol metabolism or binding. In this paper, available evidence in support of a causal relationship in each direction between vitamin A deficiency and malaria is reviewed. If such a relationship exists, and especially if this is bidirectional, interventions against either disease may convey an amplified benefit for health.
There are multiple studies in different countries regarding the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. These studies showed high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Asian countries. This study tries to elucidate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its influencing factors in population of Tehran.
1210 subjects 20–64 years old were randomly selected. 25 (OH) D serum levels were measured. Duration of exposure to sunlight, the type of clothing and level of calcium intake and BMI were quantified based on a questionnaire.
A high percentage of vitamin D deficiency was defined in the study population. Prevalence of severe, moderate and mild Vitamin D deficiency was 9.5%, 57.6% and 14.2% respectively. Vitamin D serum levels had no significant statistical relation with the duration of exposure to sunlight, kind of clothing and BMI. Calcium intake in the normal vitamin D group was significantly higher than the other groups (714.67 ± 330.8 mg/day vs 503.39 ± 303.1, 577.93 ± 304.9,595.84 ± 313.6). Vitamin D serum levels in young and middle aged females were significantly lower than the older group.
Vitamin D deficiency has a high prevalence in Tehran. In order to avoid complications of vitamin D deficiency, supplemental dietary intake seems essential.
vitamin d deficiency; calcium intake; sunlight exposure
Background & objectives:
India has the second highest HIV population in the world with about 2.5-3.0 million cases. HIV-2 cases among general and blood donor population have also been reported mostly from west and south India. This single centre study was carried out to observe the HIV-1 and HIV-2 prevalence among blood donors from north India.
A total of 2,04,677 people were screened for the presence of HIV infection over the 11 year period (1999 to 2009). Till 2004, a third generation ELISA kit was used. From 2005 till January 2009 all tests were done using the fourth generation ELISA kit which detected the presence of HIV-1 P24 antigen and anti-HIV antibodies. From February 2009 onwards, the kits used were Genscreen ULTRA HIV Ag-Ab Assay.
A total of 506 (0.247%) donors were found to be repeat reactive for HIV. Of these, 486 (96%) donors tested using the Western blot were found positive for HIV-1 infection. Twenty (4%) donors showed a negative Western blot result, none of the donors were found reactive for HIV-2 infection.
Interpretation & conclusions:
The prevalence of HIV was 0.249 per cent among blood donors of north India. No HIV-2 case was found among the studied blood donor population indicating that it is not a threat currently.
Donor screening; HIV-1; HIV-2; north India; prevalence
Deficiency of Vitamin D is prevalent in the general population, especially in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients. The exact prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency is unknown in post renal transplant recipients. The classical and non-classical effects of vitamin D deficiency are complicated by the use of steroids and calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) in the renal transplant population. The aim of this study is to document the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in the post renal transplant population.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 51 renal transplant recipients under follow-up at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, between June 2009 and March 2011, were enrolled in this study. Parathormone (PTH), 25(OH)-vitaminD3, calcium, and phosphate levels were determined in all the patients. The patients were then classified into different groups based on the severity of the Vitamin D deficiency, time since transplantation, and level of graft function.
Overall, four patients (8%) were vitamin D sufficient, 17 patients (33%) insufficient, 26 patients (51%) mildly deficient, and four (8%) severely deficient. The degree of deficiency did not differ with reference to the time since transplant or level of graft function. Sixty-nine percent had high PTH level, 22% were normal, and 9% had a low parathyroid hormone level. There was an inverse correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and serum PTH level.
In this study, there was a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in renal transplant recipients. This did not get corrected, despite nutritional improvement or normalization of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) post transplantation. Therefore, the study emphasizes routine evaluation and proper supplementation of Vitamin D in all post renal transplant patients.
25(OH)-vitamin D3; calcium; phosphate; parathormone; renal transplant recipients; Vitamin D
The purpose of this investigation was to examine serum vitamin D status in a population of Punjabi ancestry from Northern India with a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and evaluate the effects of 25(OH)D levels on cardio-metabolic traits.
Research design and methods
We assessed cardiovascular risk factors and 25(OH)D levels in 1,765 participants (887 T2D cases, 878 normoglycemic controls).
76% of individuals were deficient (<50 nmol/L) in vitamin D. A higher percentage of T2D participants(83%) were vitamin D deficient compared to normoglycemic controls (68%)(p<0.0001).The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency increased progressively with body mass index (BMI) categories (p<0.0001): BMI<23 kg/m2, 65%; BMI 23–27.5 kg/m2, 75%; and BMI>27.5 kg/m2, 81%. T2D participants had significantly decreased serum 25(OH)D levels (β=−0.41, p=2.8 × 10−20). Individuals with low serum 25(OH)D had elevated fasting glucose(β=−0.18, p=0.022), BMI (β=-0.71, p=1.4 × 10−7) and systolic blood pressure (β=−1.68, p=0.006). A positive association of increased 25(OH)D with HOMA-B (β=0.17, p=8.0×10−6), and C-peptide (β=0.09, 0.017) was observed. Non-medicated, normoglycemic, non-hypertensive individuals classified as vitamin D deficient (n=289) exhibited a significant increase in fasting glucose (p=0.02) and BMI (p<0.0001) as well as a significant decrease in C-peptide (p<0.0001) and amylin (p<0.0001) compared to vitamin D sufficient controls (n=150).
Vitamin D deficiency appears to be a significant risk factor for T2D severity and associated cardio-metabolic risk. Early intervention may be considered to improve prevention of T2D related cardiovascular complications.
Vitamin D status of nonwestern immigrants in Europe was poor. Vitamin D status of nonwestern populations in their countries of origin varied, being either similar to the immigrant populations in Europe or higher than in European indigenous populations. Vitamin D concentrations in nonwestern immigrant populations should be improved.
The higher the latitude, the less vitamin D is produced in the skin. Most European countries are located at higher latitudes than the countries of origin of their nonwestern immigrants. Our aim was to compare the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration of nonwestern immigrant populations with those of the population in their country of origin, and the indigenous population of the country they migrated to.
We performed literature searches in the “PubMed” and “Embase” databases, restricted to 1990 and later. The search profile consisted of terms referring to vitamin D or vitamin D deficiency, prevalence or cross-sectional studies, and countries or ethnicity. Titles and abstracts were reviewed to identify studies on population-based mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations among Turkish, Moroccan, Indian, and sub-Sahara African populations in Europe, Turkey, Morocco, India, and sub-Sahara Africa.
The vitamin D status of immigrant populations in Europe was poor compared to the indigenous European populations. The vitamin D status of studied populations in Turkey and India varied and was either similar to the immigrant populations in Europe (low) or similar to or even higher than the indigenous European populations (high).
In addition to observed negative consequences of low serum 25(OH)D concentrations among nonwestern populations, this overview indicates that vitamin D status in nonwestern immigrant populations should be improved. The most efficacious strategy should be the subject of further study.
Indian; Moroccan; Prevalence; Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Sub-Sahara African; Turkish
Vitamin D deficiency is a significant problem for a growing proportion of the UK population. Individuals with dark or covered skin are at particularly high risk due to ethno-cultural, environmental and genetic factors. We assessed the level of awareness of vitamin D deficiency among at-risk patients in order to identify groups most in need of education.
A cross-sectional survey using a piloted questionnaire was conducted among consecutive at-risk patients without a diagnosis of Vitamin D deficiency arriving at a large inner city general practice in the North West of England over a five day period. The survey was completed by 221 patients. The mean age was 35 years. 28% of them (n = 61) had never heard about vitamin D. Older patients (p = 0.003) were less likely to have heard about vitamin D. 54% of participants were unaware of the commonest symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. 34% did not expose their skin other than their face in the last one year, and 11% did not include vitamin D rich foods in their diet.
The majority of at-risk patients are aware of vitamin D; nevertheless, there is a significant lack of knowledge among older people, who have higher morbidity. A programme of targeted education of the at-risk population is recommended.
Vitamin D has a wide variety of physiological functions in the human body. There is increasing evidence that low serum levels of this vitamin have an important role in the pathogenesis of different skeletal and extra-skeletal diseases. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is common at northern latitudes. There are few population-based studies in the northern European region looking at the issue in a wider age group. We aimed to measure Vitamin D level in the general population of Estonia (latitude 59°N), a North-European country where dairy products are not fortified with vitamin D.
The study subjects were a population-based random selection of 367 individuals (200 women and 167 men, mean age 48.9 ± 12.2 years, range 25–70 years) from the registers of general health care providers. 25-(OH) vitamin D (25(OH)D) level and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were measured in summer and in winter. Additionally age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and self-reported sunbathing habits were recorded.
The mean serum 25(OH)D concentration in winter was 43.7 ± 15 nmol/L and in summer 59.3 ± 18 nmol/L (p < 0.0001). In winter 73% of the subjects had 25(OH)D insufficiency (25(OH)D concentration below 50 nmol/L) and 8% had deficiency (25(OH)D below 25 nmol/L). The corresponding percentages in summer were 29% for insufficiency and less than 1% for deficiency. PTH reached a plateau at around 80 nmol/L. BMI and age were inversely associated with 25(OH)D, but lost significance when adjusted for sunbathing habits. A difference in the seasonal 25(OH)D amplitude between genders (p = 0.01) was revealed.
Vitamin D insufficiency is highly prevalent throughout the year in a population without vitamin D dairy fortification living at the latitude of 59°N.
This large, two-center, population-based study provides estimates of the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in India.
To estimate the prevalence of early and late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in India.
Of 7518 people aged 60 years and older identified from randomly sampled villages in North and South India, 5853 (78%) attended an eye examination including fundus photography. Fundus images were graded according to the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System.
Fundus images were ungradable in 1587 people, mainly because of cataract. People 80 years of age and older were less likely to attend the eye examination and more likely to have ungradable images. For ages 60 to 79 years, the percent prevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]) were late AMD 1.2 (0.8–1.5); and early AMD: grade 1 (soft distinct drusen or pigmentary irregularities), 39.3 (37.2–41.5); grade 2 (soft distinct drusen with pigmentary irregularities or soft indistinct or reticular drusen), 6.7 (5.8–7.6); and grade 3 (soft indistinct or reticular drusen with pigmentary irregularities), 0.2 (0.1–0.4). For ages 80 and older, the respective percent prevalence was: late AMD, 2.5 (0.4–4.7); and early AMD: grade 1, 43.1(35.7–50.6); grade 2, 8.1 (4.3–12.0); and grade 3, 0.5 (0–1.5).
The prevalence of early AMD (grades 1 and 2) is similar to that observed in Western populations, but grade 3 appears to be lower. The prevalence of late AMD is comparable to that in Western populations in the age group 60 to 79 years. It is likely that the prevalence in the 80 and older age group is underestimated.
Background and Purpose
Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke. We examined the relationship between dietary vitamin D intake and 34-year incident stroke.
The Honolulu Heart Program is a prospective population-based cohort study of 8,006 Japanese-American men in Hawaii who were 45-68 years old at the baseline examination in 1965-68. Dietary vitamin D intake was calculated using the Nutritionist IV v3 software from a 24-hour dietary recall. Subjects with prevalent stroke were excluded, leaving 7,385 men followed through 1999 for incident stroke. Subjects were divided into quartiles of dietary vitamin D for analyses.
During 34 years of follow-up, 960 subjects developed stroke. Age-adjusted rates of incident stroke were significantly higher in the lowest dietary vitamin D quartile compared to the highest (all stroke: 6.38 vs. 5.14 per 1,000 person-years follow-up, p=0.030; thromboembolic stroke: 4.36 vs. 3.30, p=0.033). Using Cox regression, adjusting for age, total kilocalories, BMI, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, pack-years smoking, physical activity index, serum cholesterol, and alcohol intake, those in the lowest quartile had a significantly increased risk of incident stroke (all stroke HR=1.22, 95% CI=1.01-1.47, p=0.038; thromboembolic stroke HR=1.27, 95% CI=1.01-1.59, p=0.044), with the highest as reference. We found no significant associations between dietary vitamin D and hemorrhagic stroke.
Low dietary vitamin D intake was an independent risk factor for 34-year incidence of all stroke and thromboembolic stroke in Japanese-American men. Additional research is needed on vitamin D supplementation to prevent stroke.
dietary vitamin D intake; incident stroke; Japanese-American men; longitudinal cohort study
Vitamin D deficiency (≤50nmol/L 25-hydroxy vitamin D) is a cardiovascular (CV) risk factor that affects approximately one billion people worldwide, particularly those affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD). Individuals with CKD demonstrate abnormal cardiac autonomic nervous system activity, which has been linked to the significant rates of CV-related mortality in this population. Whether vitamin D deficiency has a direct association with regulation of cardiac autonomic activity has never been explored in humans. Methods: Thirty-four (34) healthy, normotensive subjects were studied and categorized based on 25-hydroxy vitamin D deficiency (deficient vs. non-deficient, n = 7 vs. 27), as well as 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D levels (above vs. below 25th percentile, n = 8 vs. 26). Power spectral analysis of electrocardiogram recordings provided measures of cardiac autonomic activity across low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF, representative of vagal contribution) bands, representative of the sympathetic and vagal limbs of the autonomic nervous system when transformed to normalized units (nu), respectively, as well as overall cardiosympathovagal balance (LF:HF) during graded angiotensin II (AngII) challenge (3 ng/kg/min × 30 min, 6 ng/kg/min × 30 min). Results: At baseline, significant suppression of sympathovagal balance was observed in the 25-hydroxy vitamin D-deficient participants (LF:HF, p = 0.02 vs. non-deficient), although no other differences were observed throughout AngII challenge. Participants in the lowest 1,25-dihydroxy VD quartile experienced significant withdrawal of inhibitory vagal control, as well as altered overall sympathovagal balance throughout AngII challenge (HF, mean difference = −6.98 ± 3 nu, p = 0.05; LF:HF, mean difference = 0.34 ± 0.1, p = 0.043 vs. above 25th percentile). Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with suppression of resting cardiac autonomic activity, while low 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D levels are associated with unfavourable cardiac autonomic activity during an acute AngII stressor, offering a potential pathophysiological mechanism that may be acting to elevate CV risk in in populations with low vitamin D status.
vitamin D and cardiovascular disease; vitamin D deficiency; cholecalciferol; cardiac autonomic nervous system; heart rate variability; angiotensin II
The present cross-sectional and interventional study was carried out to assess the incidence of vitamin B12 / vitamin D deficiency in male office executives in the tropical city of Mumbai, India. A total of 75 senior executives were surveyed and subjected to analysis of blood levels of vitamin D (25 Hydroxy Cholecalciferol) by RIA method and vitamin B12 by CLIA method. The same was performed in a reputed analytical laboratory with NABL accreditation. History of smoking, exposure to sunlight, exercise, dietary habits, consumption of vitamin supplements, medication etc. was obtained.
The results revealed 65% executives with vitamin B12 deficiency (less than 193 pg/ml) and 28% executives with vitamin D deficiency (less than 7.6 ng/ml). The prevalence of low levels of vitamin B12 is lower (58%) in those who give history of regular exercise than others. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is lower (25%) in those who give history of regular exercise than in others (46.2%). Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is higher (47%) in those whose workday day started earlier than in those whose workday started later (12%).
In the second phase of the survey, 58 executives with low B12/ D3 values, were given vitamin B12/D3 oral supplements for a period of three months along with counseling for lifestyle modification. A modified questionnaire was then circulated and the subjects analyzed for B12/D3 values. Significant improvements in serum B12 and D3 values were seen after the oral therapy, sun exposure and dietary modifications.
Vitamin D deficiency is a global public-health concern, even in tropical regions where the risk of deficiency was previously assumed to be low due to cutaneous vitamin D synthesis stimulated by exposure to sun. Poor vitamin D status, indicated by low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], has been observed in South Asian populations. However, limited information is available on the vitamin D status of young infants in this region. Therefore, to gain preliminary insights into the vitamin D status of infants in rural Bangladesh, 25(OH)D was assessed in a group of community-sampled control participants in a pneumonia case-control study in rural Sylhet, Bangladesh (25°N) during the winter dry season (January-February). Among 29 infants aged 1-6 months, the mean 25(OH)D was 36.7 nmol/L [95% confidence interval (CI) 30.2-43.2]. The proportion of infants with vitamin D deficiency defined by 25(OH)D <25 nmol/L was 28% (95% CI 10-45), 59% (95% CI 40-78) had 25(OH)D<40 nmol/L, and all were below 80 nmol/L. From one to six months, there was a positive correlation between age and 25(OH)D (Spearman=0.65; p=0.0001). Within a larger group of 74 infants and toddlers aged 1-17 months (cases and controls recruited for the pneumonia study), young age was the only significant risk factor for vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D <25 nmol/L]. Since conservative maternal clothing practices (i.e. veiling) and low frequency of intake of foods from animal source (other than fish) were common among the mothers of the participants, determinants of low maternal-infant 25(OH)D in Bangladesh deserve more detailed consideration in future studies. In conclusion, the vitamin D status in young infants in rural Sylhet, Bangladesh, was poorer than might be expected based on geographic considerations. The causes and consequences of low 25(OH)D in infancy and early childhood in this setting remain to be established.
Risk factors; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency; Bangladesh
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is an important nutritional problem in India, resulting in an increased risk of severe morbidity and mortality. Periodic, high-dose vitamin A supplementation is the WHO-recommended method to prevent VAD, since a single dose can compensate for reduced dietary intake or increased need over a period of several months. However, in India only 34 percent of targeted children currently receive the two doses per year, and new strategies are urgently needed.
Recent advancements in biotechnology permit alternative strategies for increasing the vitamin A content of common foods. Mustard (Brassica juncea), which is consumed widely in the form of oil by VAD populations, can be genetically modified to express high levels of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Using estimates for consumption, we compare predicted costs and benefits of genetically modified (GM) fortification of mustard seed with high-dose vitamin A supplementation and industrial fortification of mustard oil during processing to alleviate VAD by calculating the avertable health burden in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALY).
We found that all three interventions potentially avert significant numbers of DALYs and deaths. Expanding vitamin A supplementation to all areas was the least costly intervention, at $23–$50 per DALY averted and $1,000–$6,100 per death averted, though cost-effectiveness varied with prevailing health subcenter coverage. GM fortification could avert 5 million–6 million more DALYs and 8,000–46,000 more deaths, mainly because it would benefit the entire population and not just children. However, the costs associated with GM fortification were nearly five times those of supplementation. Industrial fortification was dominated by both GM fortification and supplementation. The cost-effectiveness ratio of each intervention decreased with the prevalence of VAD and was sensitive to the efficacy rate of averted mortality.
Although supplementation is the least costly intervention, our findings also indicate that GM fortification could reduce the VAD disease burden to a substantially greater degree because of its wider reach. Given the difficulties in expanding supplementation to areas without health subcenters, GM fortification of mustard seed is an attractive alternative, and further exploration of this technology is warranted.
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a multitude of disorders including diabetes, defective insulin secretion as well as rickets and poor bone health. Vitamin D is also a concern during childhood and adolescence and has been reported in girls from South Brazil. We determined the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in girls from South Brazil and investigated whether the genotypic distribution of the BsmI, ApaI and TaqI polymorphisms of the VDR gene and their haplotypes were associated with vitamin D levels.
Cross-sectional study including 234 apparently healthy girls aged 7 to 18 years. Height and weight were measured for calculation of body mass index (BMI) percentiles for age. Plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were assessed. Participants were genotyped for ApaI (rs7975232), TaqI (rs731236), and BsmI (rs1544410) SNPs.
The median and interquartile range (25-75%) of BMI percentile was 62.0 (33.3 – 84.9). The frequency of overweight/obesity was 24.9%. Circulating levels of 25(OH)D (≥ 30 ng/mL) were adequate in 9.4%; insufficient in 54.3% (20–29 ng/mL); and deficient in 36.3% (< 20 ng/mL). Genotype frequencies were GG = 47.0%, GA = 41.5%, and AA = 11.5% for BsmI; GG = 16.7%, GT = 52.6%, and TT = 30.8% for ApaI; TT = 46.2%, TC = 44.9% and CC = 9.0% for TaqI. Genotypes with no gene variance (ancestral wild genotype) of BsmI (GG vs. GA + AA, two-tailed Student’s t-test p < 0.001), ApaI (GG vs. GT + TT, two-tailed Student’s t-test p = 0.031) and TaqI (TT vs. TC + CC, two-tailed Student’s t-test p = 0.005) SNPs and the GGT haplotype (two-tailed Student’s t-test p = 0.036) were significantly associated with lower 25(OH)D levels.
25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were highly prevalent in this sample. The BsmI, ApaI and TaqI wild variants of the VDR gene, as well as the GGT haplotype, were associated with lower vitamin D levels, suggesting that VDR gene polymorphisms could be linked to higher susceptibility to vitamin D deficiency in a sub-population of children and adolescents.
25-hydroxyvitamin D; VDR gene polymorphisms; Pediatric female population