Vitamin D status in an Australian patient population: A large retrospective case series focusing on factors associated with variations in serum 25(OH)D

Veronica Tsin Fong Voo, Jim Stankovich, Terence J. O'Brien, Helmut Butzkueven, Mastura Monif

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives To investigate whether sex, age, medical specialty and seasonal variations in serum concentration of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) are evident among an Australian patient population. Design Retrospective study analysing the results of serum 25(OH)D lab tests and vitamin D supplementation from Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) between 2014 and 2017. Setting Tertiary healthcare centre in Victoria, Australia. Participants 30 023 patients (inpatient and outpatient) who had their serum 25(OH)D levels measured at RMH between 2014 and 2017. Main outcome measures Serum 25(OH)D levels stratified according to patients' sex, age and medical specialty admitted to, as well as the season and year (2014 to 2017) 25(OH)D level was measured. Results Mean serum 25(OH)D level of study population was 69.9 nmol/L (95% CI 69.5 to 70.2). Only 40.2% patients in this cohort were sufficient in vitamin D (>75 nmol/L). On average, 25(OH)D levels in male patients were 6.1 units (95% CI 5.4 to 6.9) lower than in females. Linear regression analysis found that 25(OH)D levels increased by 0.16 unit (95% CI 0.14 to 0.18) for every year increase in age. One-way analysis of variance showed patients from neurology had the highest average 25(OH)D level, 76.8 nmol/L (95% CI 74.2 to 79.3) compared with other medical specialties. Mean 25(OH)D level during winter, 64.9 nmol/L (95% CI 64.2 to 65.6) was significantly lower compared with other seasons despite supplementation. Average 25(OH)D level measured in 2014, 71.5 nmol/L (95 CI% 70.8 to 72.2) was significantly higher than levels measured in 2016-2017. Conclusions There is a sex, age, medical specialty, seasonal and yearly variation in vitamin D status in an Australian patient population. The association between low vitamin D status and winter despite supplementation suggests other interventions are required to boost serum 25(OH)D levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere032567
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020


  • Australian cohort study
  • epidemiology
  • patient population
  • Vitamin D

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