Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 24

P01-003 - Factors Associated with Vitamin D status in Older Puerto Rican Adults

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objective: To examine vitamin D status and associated factors among Puerto Rican adults.


Methods: The Boston Puerto Rican Health Study (BPRHS) is a longitudinal cohort study of Puerto Rican adults (45-75y) living in the Greater Boston area. A total of 915 of 1504 participants who completed baseline interviews with serum vitamin D measures and complete data on covariates were included. Vitamin D was measured in serum by extraction and 25I radioimmunoassay Packard COBRA II Gamma Counter (DiaSorin Inc., Stillwater, MN 55082). Dietary intake was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. General linear models in SAS were used to regress the log of serum vitamin D onto a set of potential factors, including season of measurement, body mass index (BMI), vitamin D intake, supplement use, skin tone, smoking, and walking, adjusting for age, sex, total energy intake, serum albumin and creatinine concentrations.


Results: Mean serum vitamin D was 42.8 ± 17.1 nmol/L for Puerto Rican men aged 45-59y, 43.2 ± 15.1 nmol/L for men age 60-75y, 42.7 ± 17.8 nmol/L for women aged 45-59y and 46.4 ± 16.9 for women 60-75y, respectively. Those aged 45-59 y were more likely to have deficiency vitamin D status (<30 nmol/L ) than those aged 60-75 y: men (25.2 vs. 19.0%) and women (23.8 vs. 14.8%). However, when combined with insufficiency, those with serum vitamin D <50 nmol/L ranged from 58.3% of women 60-75y to 68.7% of men 45-59y. Those measured during the spring had lower vitamin D, compared with during the summer (p=0.002). BMI was inversely associated with vitamin D (p=0.008). Vitamin D intake, supplement use, miles walked/d, and nonsmoking were each associated with significantly higher vitamin D concentration (all p<0.01). Vitamin D concentration tended to be lower with darker skin tone.


Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are very common in this population of older Puerto Ricans living in the Boston area. Risk factors confirm those seen in other populations, including seasonal variation (lowest in spring), obesity, smoking, and darker skin tone. As expected, higher dietary intake of vitamin D, supplement use and walking were protective. Given the importance of vitamin D status to health, more screening and treatment appears warranted in this population.



Funding Source:

NIH P50 HL105185; NIH P01 AG023394; NIH R01AG055948


Table 1

CoAuthors: Sabrina Noel – University of Massachusetts Lowell; Katherine Tucker – University of Massachusetts Lowell

Oladimeji J. Akinlawon

University of Massachsuetts Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts