Vitamin D deficiency is a condition wherein there is low circulating levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential steroid hormone found in the body.

It results from inadequate sunlight exposure, malabsorptions &/or inadequate nutrition.

Vitamin D insufficiency is a less severe state of calcidiol deficiency and associated w/ parathyroid hormones and osteoporosis.


Vitamin%20d%20deficiency Signs and Symptoms


  • Vitamin D is an essential steroid hormone found in the body
  • Low vitamin D levels are more common in the Middle Eastern and South Asian regions


  • A condition wherein there is low circulating levels of vitamin D


  • Common in the elderly, medical and institutionalized patients, people living at higher latitudes, during winter and those with low sun exposure

Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Dark-skinned individuals (eg African Americans)
  • Drugs [eg anticonvulsants (eg Phenobarbital, Phenytoin), antiretrovirals, Cholestyramine, Rifampicin]
  • Exclusively breastfed infants and children who have limited sunlight exposure
  • Genetic disorders [eg 25-hydroxylase deficiency, 1α-hydroxylase deficiency, hereditary resistance to vitamin D (Vitamin D-dependent rickets type 2)]
  • Geographic location (eg sunshine-deficient areas, higher latitude living, people living in northern climates)
  • Kidney disease (eg nephritic syndrome)
  • Institutionalized individuals (eg hospitalized patients, nursing home residents)
  • Intestinal malabsorption disease (eg biliary obstruction, celiac sprue, cystic fibrosis, gastric resection, pancreatic insufficiency, or Whipple’s disease)
  • Intestinal resection
  • Liver disease (eg liver cirrhosis)
  • Obese individuals
  • Multiple, short interval pregnancies and lactating women
  • Sarcoidosis and lymphomas - increases metabolism of 25[OH]D to 1,25[OH]D
  • Strict sunscreen and skin concealing garments use
  • Severe chronic liver diseases (eg cirrhosis)
  • Vegetarians, high phytate consumption (eg chapatis) and other unusual diets
Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS JPOG - Malaysia digital copy today!
Sign In To Download
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 21 Nov 2020
Antiviral treatment with tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (TAF) during pregnancy in highly viraemic mothers effectively prevents mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) with no safety concerns, according to two studies presented during the AASLD 2020 Liver Meeting.