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Open Access Research article

Lower vitamin D status is more common among Saudi adults with diabetes mellitus type 1 than in non-diabetics

Nasser M Al-Daghri12*, Omar S Al-Attas123, Majed S Alokail12, Khalid M Alkharfy124, Sobhy M Yakout2, Naji J Aljohani5, Hanan Al Fawaz6, Abdulrahman SM Al-Ajlan7, Eman S Sheshah8, Mansour Al-Yousef9 and Mohammad Alharbi10

Author Affiliations

1 Biomarkers Research Program, Biochemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

2 Prince Mutaib Chair for Biomarkers for Osteoporosis, Biochemistry Department, College of Science, King Saud University, PO box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

3 Center of Excellence in Biotechnology Research Center, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

4 College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

5 Faculty of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 11525, Saudi Arabia

6 College of Food, Science and Agriculture, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

7 Riyadh College of Health Sciences, King Saud University, Ministry of Higher Education, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

8 Diabetes Care Center, Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

9 Health Affairs for Riyadh Region, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

10 Diabetes Centers and Units Administration, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:153  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-153

Published: 11 February 2014



Vitamin D deficiency is an increasingly recognized comorbidity in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DMT1), suggesting that vitamin D deficiency might play a role in DMT1. We aimed to determine and compare the vitamin D status of Saudi adults with and without DMT1.


A total of 60 Saudi adults with DMT1 from the Diabetes Clinics and 60 non-DM, healthy controls were included in the study. The mean age for those with DMT1 was 25.9 ± 16.1 years versus 36.7 ± 3.6 years among the controls. We measured serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25OHD), calcium, cholesterol, blood glucose, HDL, and triglycerides and compared the results between the DMT1 group and control subjects.


Both the DMT1 and healthy groups had vitamin D deficiency. The mean levels of 25OHD were significantly lower in the DMT1 adults than in the controls (28.1 ± 1.4 nmol/L versus 33.4 ± 1.6 nmol/L). In the DMT1 adults, 66.7% were mildly, 31.7% moderately, and 3.3% severely vitamin D deficient as compared with 41.7% (mildly), 31.7% (moderately), and 5% (severely) in the control group. Overall, 100% of the DMT1 adults and 78% of the healthy children were vitamin D deficient.


The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among DMT1 adults was relatively high. Therefore, screening for vitamin D deficiency and supplementation for this population should be warranted.

Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency; Type 1 diabetes