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Personal Sun Exposure and Serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D Concentrations

Authors

  • Visalini Nair-Shalliker,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
    2. Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit, Cancer Council New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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  • Mark Clements,

    1. National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
    2. Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Michael Fenech,

    1. CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Bruce K Armstrong

    1. Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Corresponding author email: visalinin@nswcc.org.au (Visalini Nair-Shalliker)

Abstract

Solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) is essential for epidermal vitamin D production. We aimed to quantitate the relationship between personal solar UV exposure and serum 25hydroxy vitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration. Blood was collected for 25(OH)D analysis in 207 South Australian adults aged 27–61 years. At the time of blood collection, each participant completed a questionnaire, which included a calendar for recall of sun exposure in the preceding 16 weeks. We examined the association between solar UV exposure and serum 25(OH)D graphically from smoothed scatter plots, and modeled it using multiple linear regression, with age, sex and body mass index as covariates. Estimated erythemal solar UV exposure in the 6 weeks before blood collection best predicted serum 25(OH)D concentrations. Serum 25(OH)D rose with increasing personal solar UV exposure to a maximum of about 89 nmol L−1 at an estimated mean weekly solar erythemal UV exposure of about 1230 mJ cm−2. The maximum was the same after accounting for clothing coverage and was reached at an estimated whole body equivalent exposure to ambient UV of ca 700 mJ cm−2. These results suggest that an average maximum serum 25(OH)D of ca 89 nmol L−1 is achieved from sun exposure in a healthy Australian adult population.

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