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 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
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