NICHOLS EK, KHATIB IM, ABURTO NJ, SULLIVAN KM, SCANLON KS, WIRTH JP, SERDULA MK.

June 2012, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

While sunlight is an important vitamin D source, previous investigations among women whose culture encourages skin covering have been small, not nationally representative, or both. We investigated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D(3)) status and factors associated with deficiency in a nationally representative survey of 2013 Jordanian women of reproductive age in Spring 2010. We measured 25(OH)D(3) concentrations by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and calculated prevalence ratios for deficiency associated with skin covering and other factors. Results showed 60.3% (95% CI: 57.1-63.4%) deficiency (12 ng/ml) and 95.7% (95% CI: 94.4-96.8%) insufficiency (20 ng/ml) among women. Prevalence of deficiency was 1.60 times higher for women who covered with a scarf/hijab (95% CI: 1.06-2.40, P = 0.024) and 1.87 times higher for women who wore full cover, or a niqab (95% CI: 1.20-2.93, P = 0.006), compared with the women who did not wear a scarf/hijab or niqab.

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