Many Ethnic-Minority Teens Have Low Vitamin D Levels

TUESDAY, July 5, 2022 — More than 60 percent of ethnic-minority adolescents in primary care have low vitamin D levels, according to a study published online May 30 in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.

Shainy B. Varghese, Ph.D., from the College of Nursing at the University of Houston in Sugar Land, Texas, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using a retrospective patient chart review to examine vitamin D levels among ethnic-minority adolescents in primary care. Participants included 119 ethnically diverse adolescents, aged 12 to 18 years, with documented vitamin D levels who had a wellness examination in 2018.

The researchers found that 61 percent of the participants had low levels of vitamin D. Irrespective of ethnicity or gender, there was an increase seen in vitamin D deficiency with age; in an adjusted analysis, age was the only significant factor associated with vitamin D deficiency in minority children (odds ratio, 2.6).

“Knowledge and understanding of the prevalence of low vitamin D levels, underlying features, and risk of low vitamin D levels among different ethnic groups are essential for primary care providers who must identify at-risk populations starting at a young age,” Varghese said in a statement.

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