ATLANTA, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Data presented this week
at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) meeting
showed that many people have low vitamin D levels and that testing
individuals at risk may be beneficial.
According to published data from the Third National Health and
Nutrition Survey, reported in the Archives of Internal
Medicine, only 23 percent of Americans have vitamin D levels
over 30 nanogram/millilitre (ng/mL), a level that many experts
agree is needed for optimal health. Low vitamin D can cause
skeletal disorders, such as rickets in children and bone loss in
adults, and has been linked to an increased risk of hip fractures.
Although research is still being conducted in this area, some
studies have shown that people with a low level of vitamin D may
have elevated risk for cardiovascular problems, autoimmune
disorders and some infectious diseases.
“There are many factors that contribute to people having low
vitamin D status,” said Neil Binkley, M.D., associate professor of
Endocrinology and Geriatrics at University of Wisconsin School of
Medicine and Public Health. “Low dietary intake, sun avoidance, age
and geographic location all play a part. It is important to measure
vitamin D in some individuals who may be at risk because of all of
variables that may cause low vitamin D.” Binkley presented data at
an Abbott-sponsored workshop at AACC.
Laboratories measure vitamin D levels through detection of
25-hydroxy vitamin D. In the kidney, 25-hydroxy vitamin D converts
into the active form of the vitamin that helps regulate calcium and
phosphate levels and can be measured in blood. 25-hydroxy vitamin D
is established as the appropriate measurable indicator of vitamin D
status because it is stable and easily measured.
Several published studies have shown low vitamin D levels are
widespread but the potential health consequences are largely
unrecognized. It has been reported in healthy childre