Seasonal 25-hydroxyvitamin D changes in British postmenopausal women at 57°N and 51°N: a longitudinal study

A. Mavroeidi, F. O'Neill, P. A. Lee, A. L. Darling, W. D. Fraser, J. L. Berry, W. T. Lee, D. M. Reid, S. A. Lanham-New, H. M. Macdonald

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The UK has insufficient intensity of sunlight at wavelengths 290-315. nm to enable cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D from October to April. There are regional differences in UVB strength throughout the UK but whether this translates to differences in vitamin D status is not known. We have reported seasonal variations in a cross-sectional study of over 3000 Scottish women in Aberdeen. The aim of this longitudinal study was to compare the seasonal variation of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in postmenopausal women residing in Aberdeen (57°N) and Surrey (51°N). Women attended 3-monthly visits over 12 months, starting summer 2006. In Aberdeen, 338 Caucasian women (mean age ± SD, 61.7 ± 1.5 years); and at Surrey, 138 Caucasian women (61.4 ± 4.5 years) and 35 Asian women (59.9 ± 6.4 years) had serum 25(OH)D measured by IDS enzyme immunoassay. In winter/spring none of the Caucasian women living in Surrey had 25(OH)D < 20 nmol/L, but nearly a quarter of women in Aberdeen were vitamin D-deficient. This number decreased to 4.2% in summer/autumn. For the Asian women 17.1% were vitamin D-deficient in summer, increasing to 58.1% in winter. Using higher 25(OH)D deficiency cut-offs, the percentage of women affected was much higher. These longitudinal data show clear differences in vitamin D status between the north and south of the UK, and marked ethnic differences. They are consistent with our previous data and with cross-sectional data from the 1958 birth cohort. The low vitamin D status may have implications for bone health and other health outcomes, which is currently being investigated in this publication group. The extent of vitamin D deficiency in Asian women residing in the South of England is of concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-461
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • asian vs. caucasian postmenopausal women
  • longitudinal study
  • regional UK variation
  • seasonal variation
  • vitamin D deficiency


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