Vitamin D deficiency has been correlated with several diseases and injuries including diabetes, osteoporosis, fractures, and falls. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), current data on vitamin D status are lacking. Aims: To inform Saudi public health authorities on the current status of blood levels vitamin D deficiency, we analyzed data from the Saudi Health Interview Survey.
Materials and Methods
The Saudi Health Interview Survey (SHIS) is a cross-sectional national multistage survey of individuals aged 15 years and above on sociodemographic characteristics, tobacco consumption, diet, physical activity, health care utilization, different health-related behaviors, and self-reported chronic conditions. A total of 10,735 participants completed a health questionnaire and were invited to the local health clinics for biomedical exams.
62.65% of female Saudis and 40.6% of male Saudis aged 15 years and above are deficient in vitamin D. Out of them, less than 1% of males and less than 2% of females consume vitamin D supplements. Women who have never married and obese individuals are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, compared to men who were currently married and nonobese individuals. Those consuming vitamin D supplements are less likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
Our study showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among Saudi men and women, and the results call for an increased awareness to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D for better health in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, our findings are certainly relevant for other countries in the Gulf region or countries with similar cultures, clothing, and religions.
Tuffaha M, El Bcheraoui C, Daoud F, Al Hussaini HA, Alamri F, Al Saeedi M, Basulaiman M, Memish ZA, AlMazroa MA, Al Rabeeah AA, Mokdad AH. Deficiencies under plenty of sun: Vitamin D status among adults in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2013. North American Journal of Medical Sciences. 2015; 7(10):467-475. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.168675.