Vitamin D status is associated with sociodemographic factors, lifestyle and metabolic health

European Journal of Nutrition, 05/01/2012

This study suggests that serum 25(OH)D concentration is associated with a multitude of sociodemographic, lifestyle and metabolic health factors. Thus, it is possible that such factors confound associations observed between serum 25(OH)D concentration and chronic diseases.


  • The study population comprised 5,714 men and women, aged 30–79 years, from the Health 2000 Survey representing the Finnish population.
  • Serum 25(OH)D concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay from serum samples frozen at –70 °C.
  • Sociodemographic, lifestyle and metabolic factors were determined by questionnaires, interviews and measurements.
  • Linear regression was used to assess the associations between serum 25(OH)D and the factors studied.


  • The mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 45.3 nmol/l and it varied between categories of sociodemographic, lifestyle and metabolic health variables.
  • Older age, being married or cohabiting and higher education were related to higher serum 25(OH)D concentration.
  • Those with the healthiest lifestyle estimated by a lifestyle index based on body mass index, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and diet had 15.8 nmol/l higher serum 25(OH)D concentration compared to those with the unhealthiest lifestyle.
  • Of the indicators of metabolic health, only waist circumference and HDL cholesterol were significantly associated with 25(OH)D after adjustment for sociodemographic, lifestyle and other metabolic health factors.

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