Background: Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly being recognized as a highly prevalent and undertreated problem. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency in hospitalized adults in northeast Tennessee.
Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted on 99 inpatients admitted to an internal medicine teaching service from July through October 2006 at a single private hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee. A single measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was performed on all patients.
Results: Of the 99 patients, 53% were vitamin D deficient or insufficient (30% deficient with a level of <20 ng/mL and 23% insufficient with a level between 20–29.9 ng/mL). The highest frequency of deficiency was in females <50 years.
Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in all age groups and in both females and males in this population. Clinicians should consider measuring the vitamin D level of all inpatients on a routine basis.
* Vitamin D deficiency is a highly prevalent and underrecognized problem.
* Deficiency can be determined by a simple blood test measuring the level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
* Clinicians should be aware of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and have a low threshold to determine vitamin D level.
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