We aimed to assess the prevalence and associated factors of vitamin D deficiency in healthy adolescents and to determine parent-adolescent association in vitamin D status.
A cross-sectional study.
Data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008-2009. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were measured using 125I-labelled RIA kits. Vitamin D deficiency in adolescents was defined as 25(OH)D level <27·5 nmol/l, and 25(OH)D levels between 27·5 and <50 nmol/l were considered insufficient. For the parents, vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D level <50 nmol/l.
The study population consisted of 2062 adolescents (1095 boys, 967 girls; aged 10-18 years) and their parents (1005 fathers, 1341 mothers).
Overall, 13·4% of adolescents (boys 11·7%, girls 15·4%) were 25(OH)D deficient, 54·7% were 25(OH)D insufficient. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency increased with age (P < 0·0001). Parental vitamin D deficiency was more prevalent in vitamin D-deficient adolescents than in non-deficient adolescents (all P < 0·0001). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, predictors for vitamin D deficiency were senior high school students (OR = 3·45-4·33), winter/spring season (OR = 3·18-5·11/5·35-7·36) and parental vitamin D deficiency (OR = 1·78-4·88; all P < 0·05).
Vitamin D insufficiency is prevalent among healthy Korean adolescents and the parent-offspring association warrants vitamin D screening for family members of deficient individuals.