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Clinical Endocrinology

Predicting vitamin D deficiency in older Australian adults

Authors


Correspondence: Rachel Neale, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, 300 Herston Road, Herston, Brisbane, Queensland 4006, Australia. Tel.: (61) 7 3845 3598; Fax: (61) 7 3845 3502; E-mail: Rachel.Neale@qimr.edu.au.

Summary

Objective

There has been a dramatic increase in vitamin D testing in Australia in recent years, prompting calls for targeted testing. We sought to develop a model to identify people most at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Design and Participants

This is a cross-sectional study of 644 60- to 84-year-old participants, 95% of whom were Caucasian, who took part in a pilot randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation.

Measurements

Baseline 25(OH)D was measured using the Diasorin Liaison platform. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were defined using 50 and 25 nmol/l as cut-points, respectively. A questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors. We used multivariate logistic regression to predict low vitamin D and calculated the net benefit of using the model compared with ‘test-all’ and ‘test-none’ strategies.

Results

The mean serum 25(OH)D was 42 (SD 14) nmol/1. Seventy-five per cent of participants were vitamin D insufficient and 10% deficient. Serum 25(OH)D was positively correlated with time outdoors, physical activity, vitamin D intake and ambient UVR, and inversely correlated with age, BMI and poor self-reported health status. These predictors explained approximately 21% of the variance in serum 25(OH)D. The area under the ROC curve predicting vitamin D deficiency was 0·82. Net benefit for the prediction model was higher than that for the ‘test-all’ strategy at all probability thresholds and higher than the ‘test-none’ strategy for probabilities up to 60%.

Conclusion

Our model could predict vitamin D deficiency with reasonable accuracy, but it needs to be validated in other populations before being implemented.

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