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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 148-154

Gender-specific differences in the awareness and intake of vitamin D among adult population in Qassim region

1 Qassim College of Medicine, Qassim University, Alqassim, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Dermatology, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, National Guard Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mana A Alharbi
Department of Dermatology, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, P.O. Box 295124, Riyadh 11351
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_164_17

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Background: Despite the abundance of sunshine throughout the year, Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent among different Saudi populations. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the awareness and intake of Vitamin D and their association among adults of both genders. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done between June and August 2016 among adult patients and their family members (>18 years) presenting at 6 Primary Care Centers in the Qassim region, Saudi Arabia. Results: A total of 500 study participants were included in the study; 54.6% of the participants were males and mostly aged most between 26–50 years. The majority of the participants had heard of Vitamin D (91.4%), believed in its importance for health (92.8%), were aware of the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency (72.6%), and were able to identify exposure to sunlight (81.4%) and diet (70.4%) as sources. The sources of Vitamin D used by the participants were exposure to the sun (57.2%), Vitamin D-rich foods (51.2%) and supplements (18.8%). There was a significant association between overall awareness of Vitamin D and intake of at least 2 sources of Vitamin D in males (P < 0.001) but not females (P = 0.920). Although females had better awareness than males, exposure to the sun was much lower in females than males. Conclusion: As supplementation was very low in both genders, and since cultural factors that limit females' exposure to the sun are not easily modifiable, the current findings further underline the critical importance of Vitamin D supplementation, particularly in females in Saudi Arabia.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010