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Vitamin D deficiency is common and unrecognized among recently arrived adult immigrants from The Horn of Africa

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The prevalence of and risk factors for vitamin D deficiency were examined for recent adult immigrants from East Africa living in Melbourne. Demographic data were collected via a face-to-face questionnaire and risk factors predicting deficiency were examined. Suboptimal levels <25 nmol/L were found in 61 patients (53%; 74% of women; 20% of men). Lower levels were more likely in: (i) patients with a longer duration of residence in Australia, (ii) patients who were mostly covered when outdoors and (iii) women. Routine assessment for vitamin D deficiency should be considered for male and female immigrants from East Africa. (Intern Med J 2003; 33: 47−51)

Keywords: Africa; refugees; vitamin D deficiency

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1445-5994.2003.00344.x

Affiliations: 1: Paediatrics and 2: Medicine, University of Melbourne and

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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