The study found that the prevalence of the deficiency is highest in Indians aged 18-30 years
A pan-India study published in May 2020, including 4,624 subjects at 229 sites across 81 cities in India shows that 76 per cent of the Indian population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. The study also found that the prevalence of the deficiency is highest in Indians aged 18-30 years, and this trend resonated across north, south, west and east zones in India.
Dr. Sanjiv Goel, M.S., MCH (ORTHO), Guardian Hospital, Jalandhar and author of the study published in the International Journal of Research in Orthopaedics noted, “Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency, although widely prevalent among the Indian population, is still not recognized as a problem. As Vitamin D is a critical micronutrient that plays an important role in muscle and bone health, as well as overall health, these findings underscore the need for greater awareness amongst clinicians and patients to enable the screening, diagnosis and treatment of this silent epidemic.”
Commenting on this latest study, Dr, Srirupa Das, Medical Director, Abbott, said, “Hitherto, Vitamin D deficiency was thought to be a concern particularly in older persons, for whom it poses a risk to bone health. Yet as this study shows, there are high levels of deficiency among young people too. The deficiency is thus a public health risk for all, as it can cause rickets in children, increase risk of osteoporosis in adults and is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and even infectious diseases. Abbott is committed to raising awareness of the importance of Vitamin D, and providing innovations like advanced Vitamin D Nanotechnology formulations to help Indians achieve adequate Vitamin D levels, so they can live their life to their potential.”
Vitamin D can be produced entirely by the body with exposure to sunlight. However, despite the availability of plentiful sunshine in India, the deficiency remains rampant. Urbanization and modernization have resulted in less time spent outdoors, high levels of air pollution can hamper the transmission of UVB rays and dress customs in India remain conservative. Additionally, many Indians are vegetarian and most foods rich in Vitamin D are of animal origin.