Vitamin D and the social aspects of disease

QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 08/04/2011

Grimes DS – The poor health and average early death of the socio–economically disadvantaged in the UK, together with the widening social gap of health, can be explained by relative deficiency of vitamin D. At present there is no explanation and attempts by government to close the social gap have failed. The understanding presented gives an important opportunity to improve the health disadvantages of the socio–economically disadvantaged.


  • The evidence is presented by explaining apparent paradoxes, together with the analogies of geography, season and ethnicity.
  • Vitamin D studies are also demonstrated.
  • The picture is put together according to Hill's criteria of causation: strength of association, consistency of association, temporality, biological gradient, plausibility, coherence, experimentation and analogy.


  • Hill's criteria of causation are met, acknowledging that they are pragmatic and not absolute.
  • The associations between vitamin D deficiency and socio–economic deprivation are supported by analogies of geography, seasonality and ethnicity.
  • There is also biological plausibility.
  • The paradoxes of Albania and India show that health disadvantage and socio–economic disadvantage are not necessarily connected, if relative deficiency of vitamin D is the mediating biological factor.

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