Vitamin D deficiency associations with metabolic, bone turnover and adverse general health markers in community free living adults

Salah Gariballa, Javed Yasin, Ghada Abluwi, Awad Al Essa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although there is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in the Middle East, however its health impact is still not clear. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, causes and health implications of vitamin D deficiency in local United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on community free living adults living in the city of Al Ain, UAE. Following informed written consent eligible subject’s blood and urine samples were taken for measurements of vitamin D [25(OH)D], metabolic and bone turnover markers. Clinical assessment that includes general and self-rated health, muscle health, and physical activity were also performed. Results: A total of 648 subjects (491 female) were included in this analysis. Their mean (SD) age was 38 (12) years. Mean 25(OH)D was 24 ng/ml (range: 4–67) with 286 (44%) subjects found to have vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/ml), 234 (36%) subjects have insufficiency (20-32 ng/ml) and 128 (20%) subjects have optimal concentrations (> 32 ng/ml). 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly higher in local indigenous UAE subjects compared to other Arab expatriates (p = 0.071). Although there were no statistically significant differences in clinical markers between groups, however, utra-sensitive C-reactive protein (us-CRP), parathyroid hormone (PTH), body mass index (BMI) and the bone markers U-PYD and PYD/CR were higher in vitamin D deficient older subjects aged ≥50 years and female subjects younger than 50 years respectively compared to those with insufficiency or optimal concentrations (p value < 0.05. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed significant and independent association between 25(OH)D status and age and sex (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Older subjects with vitamin D deficiency have increased BMI, inflammation and PTH compared with those with insufficiency or optimal concentrations. Co-existence of obesity and vitamin D deficiency may have increased adverse health effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalBMC Endocrine Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Bone turnover
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolic risk factor
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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