Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Certain Occupations

Findings may help target health promotion and preventive efforts, researchers say
Findings may help target health promotion and preventive efforts, researchers say

(HealthDay News) — Shiftworkers, healthcare workers, and indoor workers are at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, according to a review published online June 22 in BMC Public Health.

Sebastian Straube, Ph.D., an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues reviewed 71 previously published studies that included 53,345 people in the northern and southern hemispheres.

The team noted that indoor workers had lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels compared to outdoor workers (40.6 ± 13.3 versus 66.7 ± 16.7 nmol/L). Vitamin D deficiency was found in 80 percent of shift workers. More than three-quarters (78 percent) of indoor workers and 72 percent of health care students were also deficient in vitamin D. Medical residents were more likely to be deficient than doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.

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"Further high-quality studies are needed to explore the relationship between occupation and vitamin D status," the authors write. "Guidelines on screening for vitamin D deficiency and supplementation strategies in vulnerable groups should include consideration of occupation."

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