Vitamin D insufficiency in southern Arizona

Elizabeth T. Jacobs, David S. Alberts, Janet A. Foote, Sylvan B. Green, Bruce W. Hollis, Zerui Yu, María Elena Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background: Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency has been observed among populations in the northern United States. However, data on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in areas of high sun exposure, such as Arizona, are limited. Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in residents of southern Arizona and to evaluate predictors of 25(OH)D in this population. Design: Cross-sectional analyses of serum from participants in a colorectal adenoma prevention study were conducted to determine rates of vitamin D deficiency. Participants were categorized into 4 groups on the basis of serum 25(OH)D concentrations: <10.0 ng/ mL, ≥10.0 ng/mL and <20.0 ng/mL, ≥20.0 ng/mL and <30.0 ng/mL, and ≥30.0 ng/mL. Results: The mean serum 25(OH)D concentration for the total population was 26.1 ± 9.1 ng/mL. Of 637 participants, 22.3% had 25(OH)D concentrations >30 ng/mL, 25.4% had concentrations <20 ng/mL, and 2.0% had concentrations <10 ng/mL. Blacks (55.5%) and Hispanics (37.6%) were more likely to have deficient 25(OH)D concentrations (<20 ng/mL) than were non-Hispanic whites (22.7%). Sun exposure had a greater effect on 25(OH)D in whites than in blacks and Hispanics, whereas BMI appeared to be more important in the latter groups. Conclusion: Despite residing in a region with high chronic sun exposure, adults in southern Arizona are commonly deficient in vitamin D deficiency, particularly blacks and Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-613
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • 25(OH)D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Arizona
  • Race-ethnicity
  • Vitamin D deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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