Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence and determinants of 25-hydroxy D3(25(OH)D) in children. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Southern Tasmania between June and November 1997. SUBJECTS: Two hundred and one 8-y old male and female children taking part in a cohort study whose principal endpoints were blood pressure and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. RESULTS: The mean 25(OH)D level was 79 nmol/l (s.d. 29.5, median 73, range 12-222). Boys had higher levels than girls (82.1 vs 72.8 nmol/l, P=0.02). 25(OH)D was associated with sunlight exposure in winter school holidays (r=0.20, P=0.005) and winter weekends (r=0.16, P=0.02), the month after school holidays (87.5 vs 69.5 nmol, P<0.0001) and body mass index (r=-0.23, P=0.001). Dietary intake of vitamin D was low (mean 40 IU/day, range 5.2-384) and was not associated with 25(OH)D levels (r=0.01, P=0.91). Variation in skin melanin density was weakly associated with 25(OH)D (r=0.09, P=0.19). CONCLUSIONS: Sunlight is the major determinant of vitamin D stores in our population. Neither variation in skin type within Caucasians nor diet modified this association to any significant extent. Extrapolation of these findings to sunlight bone mass associations in a very similar population suggests that a minimum level of around 50 nmol/l in the population is required for optimal bone development in prepubertal children but this needs to be confirmed with further controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation and bone mass. SPONSORSHIP: Arthritis Foundation of Australia, Roche Pharmaceuticals.


Journal article


Eur J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





824 - 829


Body Mass Index, Calcifediol, Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diet, Female, Humans, Male, Puberty, Sex Characteristics, Skin Physiological Phenomena, Sunlight, Tasmania, Vitamin D