The Epidemic and Health Risks of Vitamin-D Deficiency in Erbil

Authors: Hannah K. Surji1 & Sundes Sultan2
1Department of Biology, Faculty of Education, Tishk International University, Erbil, Iraq
2Department of Biology, Faculty of Education, Tishk International University, Erbil, Iraq

Abstract: Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is any of the various vitamins that are fat-soluble, chemically related to steroids, and naturally found in very few food products. In the skin, it is produced endogenously through the exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet rays), which triggers vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D deficiency can cause major health risks as it is linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, rickets, and osteoporosis. The aims of this study are: 1- to determine the vitamin D levels of individuals (n=275) of different genders and ages who were examined in various laboratories and hospitals in Erbil. 2- To evaluate the relation between gender and age with vitamin D deficiency. 3- To determine if vitamin D deficiency is becoming an epidemic in Erbil. 4- To evaluate the major risk factors of this nutritional deficiency. In this project, vitamin D test results were collected from five different laboratories and hospitals in Erbil city, Iraq. A total of 275 samples were collected, including 166 females and 109 males of different ages ranging from 19 years or younger to 60 years or older. The results were divided based on demographic information, including age and gender. The population was further categorized according to the vitamin D levels, which consisted of deficient (0 – 20 ng/mL), insufficient (21 – 29 ng/mL), and sufficient (30 – 100 ng/mL). The results have shown that 86% of the female group was below the optimal vitamin D levels, while 82% of the males showed low levels. The results showed that there was no effect of gender and age on vitamin D levels. There was a high percentage of vitamin D deficiency in males and females in Erbil city; therefore, this research suggests that long-term vitamin D supplementation, adequate exposure to sunlight, and a balanced diet rich with enough dosage of vitamin D reduces the risk of multiple health issues.

Keywords: Epidemic, Vitamin D, Deficiency, Health Risks, Erbil

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Doi: 10.23918/eajse.v7i2p163

Published: January 30, 2022

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