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The Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Adult and Adolescent Populations

15 August 2009


Purpose: This review will determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in distinct adult and adolescent populations. It will also discuss some of the major causes and effects of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency as well as present data on the benefits of consuming vitamin D.

Methods: A literature search incorporated the following databases: Medline Ovid, Evidence Based Medicine Reviews Multifile, and The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. The search phrase “vitamin D deficiency” was used to obtain journal articles and the following limits for the search were employed: English language, core clinical journals, and humans.

Results: Six articles pertaining to vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in adults and adolescents were chosen. The methods, results, and discussions were reviewed and the validity was analyzed.

Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are very common and widespread throughout diverse adult and adolescent populations. It is important to correct for this type of deficiency because it can lead to increased bone turnover, bone loss, and fractures. Osteomalacia causing muscle weakness and osteoporosis are also common effects of low levels of vitamin D. Finally, studies have determined that consumption of vitamin D reduces the risks of: many chronic diseases, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and certain types of cancers


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