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Vitamin D insufficiency among free-living healthy young adults

  • Vin Tangpricha
    Affiliations
    Vitamin D, Skin & Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Elizabeth N. Pearce
    Affiliations
    Vitamin D, Skin & Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Tai C. Chen
    Affiliations
    Vitamin D, Skin & Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Michael F. Holick
    Correspondence
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, Vitamin D, Skin & Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, M-1013, 715 Albany Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.
    Affiliations
    Vitamin D, Skin & Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Search for articles by this author
      Long-term vitamin D insufficiency can cause secondary hyperparathyroidism and osteomalacia (
      • Adams J.S.
      • Kantorovich V.
      • Wu C.
      • et al.
      Resolution of vitamin D insufficiency in osteopenic patients results in rapid recovery of bone mineral density.
      ). In addition, there is increasing evidence that vitamin D may protect against common cancers, such as cancer of the colon (
      • Garland C.F.
      • Comstock G.W.
      • Garland F.C.
      • et al.
      Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and colon cancer eight-year prospective study.
      ,
      • Tangpricha V.
      • Flanagan J.N.
      • Whitlatch L.W.
      • et al.
      25-Hydroxyvitamin D-1α-hydroxylase in normal and malignant colon tissue.
      ,
      • Cross H.S.
      • Bareis P.
      • Hofer H.
      • et al.
      25-Hydroxyvitamin D-1α-hydroxylase and vitamin D receptor gene expression in human colonic mucosa is elevated during early cancerogenesis.
      ), prostate (
      • Schwartz G.G.
      • Hulka B.S.
      Is vitamin D deficiency a risk factor for prostate cancer?.
      ), and breast (
      • John E.M.
      • Schwartz G.G.
      • Dreon D.M.
      • Koo J.
      Vitamin D and breast cancer risk the NHANES I epidemiologic follow-up study, 1971–1975 to 1992. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
      ). Young adults aged 17 to 35 years drink inadequate amounts of milk (
      • Klesges R.C.
      • Harmon-Clayton K.
      • Ward K.D.
      • et al.
      Predictors of milk consumption in a population of 17- to 35-year-old military personnel.
      ) and are concerned about exposure to the sun because of the fear of developing skin cancer (
      • Tripp M.K.
      • Herrmann N.B.
      • Parcel G.S.
      • et al.
      Sun protection is fun! A skin cancer prevention program for preschools.
      ,
      • Robinson J.K.
      • Rigel D.S.
      • Amonette R.A.
      Summertime sun protection used by adults for their children.
      ), which increases the risk of vitamin D insufficiency (
      • Holick M.F.
      Sunlight dilemma risk of skin cancer or bone disease and muscle weakness.
      ). We sought to examine the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in a group of free-living healthy young adults, consisting of mostly health care professionals, in Boston, Massachusetts.
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