Author(s): SadatAli M
BACKGROUND: Studies in 1980s and 1990s indicated that vitamin D levels in the ethnic Saudi Arabian population were low but no studies since that time have evaluated vitamin D levels among healthy young or middle-aged Saudi men. Thus, we assessed the serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) among healthy Saudi Arabian men living in the Eastern Province.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One hundred males aged 25-35 years (the age range of peak bone mass) and 100 males aged 50 years or older were randomly selected and evaluated clinically, including measurement of serum calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and serum 25OHD levels. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum level of 25OHD of 20 ng/mL and <30 ng/mL and normal >or=30 ng/mL.
RESULTS: The mean (SD) age of subjects in the younger age group was 28.2 (4.5) years. Twenty-eight (28%) had low 25OHD levels; 10 (10%) subjects were vitamin D deficient with a mean level of 16.6 (3.4) ng/mL and 18 (18%) were vitamin D insufficient with a mean level of 25.4 (2.7) ng/mL. In the older age group, the mean age was 59.4 (15.6) years and 37 (37%) had low 25OHD; 12 (12%) subjects were deficient with a mean 25OHD level of 16.7 (3.4) ng/mL and 25 (25%) were insufficient with a mean 25OHD level of 25.3 (3.3) ng/mL.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among healthy Saudi men is between 28% to 37%. Vitamin D deficiency among young and middle age Saudi Arabian males could lead to serious health consequences if the issue is not urgently addressed.