The prevalence of vitamin D deﬁciency among female college students at Qatar University
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Nowadays vitamin D deficiency is considered as a common problem among many Arab countries including Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and other European countries as documented by many studies (1,2,3,5). Vitamin D is a fat-soluble steroid hormone that is crucial for many tissues & organs in the body for instance, skin, heart, kidney and muscles. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every major disease, including: osteoporosis rickets and osteopenia, several types of cancer (including breast, prostate and colon), heart disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, infertility and PMS, Parkinson's, depression, Alzheimer’s and chronic fatigue syndrome (4). Factors that contribute to the deficiency of vitamin D are: limited exposure to sunlight, low dietary intake of food that contain vitamin D, overdressed, high attitude and cold countries and skin color (4). In the last few years’ vitamin D deficiency has become a common problem among Qatari generation and Qatari residence. Additionally, there is raising awareness that Vitamin D adequacy is essential for optimal health. This study is the first to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D among college females at the State of Qatar. Bener et al 2009 reported that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among Qatari children aged between 11 and 16 years was (68.8%), mostly among girls (51.4%) than boys (48.6%) (2). Another study was conducted at the Rheumatology Clinic Practice at Hamad medical Corporation on 204 health professional females, mean aged 35.9 years. This study showed that 26% of females had vitamin D level below the detection limit (<3 ng/ml, 38% had severe deficiency (vitamin D <10 ng/ml), 25.1% had mild deficiency in vitamin D (<20 ng/ml) and 8.9% had their level below 30 ng/ml and only 2% had an optimal level of vitamin D (>30 ng/ml) (3).
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