Advertisement

Archives of Osteoporosis

, 14:111 | Cite as

The sunshine under our skin: public knowledge and practices about vitamin D deficiency in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

  • Mudassir AnwarEmail author
  • Faris El-Dahiyat
  • Ammar Jairoun
  • Ruba Raed
  • Iqra Butt
  • Wasan Abdel-Majid
  • Hind Abdelgadir
Original Article
  • 36 Downloads

Abstract

Summary

This cross-sectional study among members of public showed that people generally had good knowledge and awareness about vitamin D. However, inconsistencies between awareness and attitudes were observed. Our findings reinforce the need of educating people to improve attitude and practices toward vitamin D consumption.

Introduction

Owing to its hot and dry climate, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the top ranked vitamin D deficient countries. However, little is known about people’s awareness surrounding this topic.

Methods

A descriptive cross-sectional survey to assess people’s knowledge, awareness, and attitude toward vitamin D deficiency was conducted in Al Ain city of UAE. A 25-item validated self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Differences among demographic groups were analyzed using chi-square test, and simple binary logistic regressions were used to investigate the association between vitamin D awareness and other significant risk factors.

Results

More than 90% of the total 346 participants showed awareness toward vitamin D and its deficiency. Doctors were reported as the most common source of information. More than one-third of the participants claimed to have vitamin D deficiency with significantly more females than males. More than 70% of the sample considered sunlight as the best source of vitamin D and avoiding going out in sun as the major risk for vitamin D deficiency. Nearly half (43%) of the participants did not consume milk and only 24% claimed to be using vitamin D supplements. Females were found to be applying sunscreen and consuming vitamin supplements significantly more than their male counterparts. Participants aged 24–35 years, having bachelor degree and those who were tested for vitamin D, were found to score better for awareness questions.

Conclusions

Our findings demonstrate a mismatch between knowledge and awareness, and attitude implying the need of educating people to improve their attitude toward consuming vitamin D rich food and supplements.

Keywords

Vitamin D Awareness Attitude Public United Arab Emirates 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

Ethical approval was received from Al Ain University of Science and Technology (Reference: AAUCOP233/17).

Conflict of interest

None.

References

  1. 1.
    90% of UAE population vitamin D deficient, says DHA official. Gulf News. (2017, October). Retrieved from https://gulfnews.com/going-out/society/90-of-uae-population-vitamin-d-deficient-says-dha-official-1.2113556
  2. 2.
    NIH (National Institutes of Health). Vitamin D fact sheet for health professionals. National Institutes of Health. (2016). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
  3. 3.
    Aranow C (2011) Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med 59(6):881–886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wrzosek M, Łukaszkiewicz J, Wrzosek M et al (2013) Vitamin D and the central nervous system. Pharmacol Rep 65(2):271–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Deluca HF (2008) Evolution of our understanding of vitamin D. Nutr Rev 66(10):s73–s87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alemu E, Varnam R (2012) Awareness of vitamin D deficiency among at-risk patients. BMC Research Notes 5:17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Muhairi SJ, Mehairi AE, Khouri AA et al (2013) Vitamin D deficiency among healthy adolescents in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. BMC Public Health 13:33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alfadeel MA (2015) Study about awareness of vitamin D deficiency among female in ALMAAREFA College in 2013–2014. Int J Health Sci 3(2):251–257Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Al-Agha AE, Alorabi SH, NoorSaeed SM, Shalabi NM (2016) Awareness of vitamin D and its deficiency in Jeddah population, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Community and Public Health Nursing 2:120Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Arora A, Dixit V, Srivastava N (2016) Evaluation of knowledge, practices of vitamin D and attitude toward sunlight among Indian students. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research 9(1):308–313Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Management of substance abuse: process of translation and adaptation of instruments. World Health Organization. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/research_tools/translation/en/
  12. 12.
    Bassil D, Rahme M, Hoteit M, Fuleihan G (2013) Hypovitaminosis D in the Middle East and North Africa: prevalence, risk factors and impact on outcomes. Dermato-endocrinology 5(2):274–298.  https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.25111 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Alamoudi, L. H., Almuteeri, R. Z., Al-Otaibi, M. E., et al. (2019). Awareness of vitamin D deficiency among the general population in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. J Nutr Metabol Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Alharbi AA, Alharbi MA, Aljafen AS, Aljuhani AM, Almarshad AI, Alomair IA, Alfalah MA (2018) Gender-specific differences in the awareness and intake of vitamin D among adult population in Qassim region. J Fam Community Med 25(3):148–154.  https://doi.org/10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_164_17 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Aljefree NM, Lee P, Ahmed F (2017) Knowledge and attitudes about vitamin D, and behaviors related to vitamin D in adults with and without coronary heart disease in Saudi Arabia. BMC Public Health 17:266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ibrahim OM, Al-Tameemi NK, Dawoud D (2019) Knowledge and perceptions of vitamin D deficiency among the United Arab Emirates population. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research 12(8):183–186Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Salmanpour VA, Ibrahim HS, Salameh AG, Yahya AM, Debal BK (2016) Vitamin D deficiency: knowledge and practices among the adult population in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Arch Osteoporos 11:15.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11657-016-0269-0 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Al Zarooni AAR, Al Marzouqi FI, Al Darmaki SH et al (2019) Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and associated comorbidities among Abu Dhabi Emirates population. BMC Res Notes 12(1):503.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-019-4536-1 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sridhar SB, Rao PG, Multani SK, Jain M (2016) Assessment of prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in multiethnic population of the United Arab Emirates. Journal of advanced pharmaceutical technology & research 7(2):48–53.  https://doi.org/10.4103/2231-4040.177202 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bani-Issa W, Eldeirawi K, Harfil S, Fakhry R (2017) Vitamin D deficiency and its determinants in adults: a sample from community-based settings in the United Arab Emirates. Int J Endocrinol 2017:3906306.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3906306 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Izzeldin H, Taha Z, Ihab T et al (2016) Risk factors for maternal vitamin D deficiency within the United Arab Emirates. J Preg Child Health 3:276.  https://doi.org/10.4172/2376-127X.1000276 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mallah EM, Hamad MF, El Manaseer MA et al (2011) Plasma concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D among Jordanians: effect of biological and habitual factors on vitamin D status. BMC Clin Pathol 11:8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hatun S, Islam M, Cizmecioglu F et al (2005) Subclinical vitamin D deficiency is increased in adolescent girls who wear concealing clothing. J Nutr 135:218–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Malaeb D, Hallit S, Salameh P (2017) Assessment of vitamin D levels, awareness among Lebanese pharmacy students, and impact of pharmacist counseling. J Epidemiol Glob Health 7(1):55–62.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jegh.2016.09.001 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kung AW, Lee KK (2006) Knowledge of vitamin D and perceptions and attitudes toward sunlight among Chinese middle-aged and elderly women: a population survey in Hong Kong. BMC Public Health 6:226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ho-Pham LT, Nguyen MT (2012) Survey on knowledge and attitudes on vitamin D and sunlight exposure in an urban population in Vietnam. Journal of ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Society 27(2):55–59Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Greenland S (1995) Avoiding power loss associated with categorization and ordinal scores in dose–response and trend analysis. Epidemiology 6(4):450–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kumar J, Muntner P, Kaskel FJ, Hailpern SM (2009) Prevalence and associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency in US children: NHANES 2001–2004. Pediatrics 124:362–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Whiting SJ, Langlois KA, Vatanparast H, Greene-Finestone LS (2011) The vitamin D status of Canadians relative to the Dietary Reference Intakes: an examination in children and adults with and without supplement use. Am J Clin Nutr 94(1):128–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bener A, Ali M, Hoffmann GF (2009) High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in young children in a highly sunny humid country: a global health problem. Minerva Pediatr 61(1):15–22PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tsur A (2011) Effect of different dress style on vitamin D levels in healthy young Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox students in Israel. Osteoporos Int 22(11):2895–2898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Holick MF (2002) Sunlight and vitamin D: both good for cardiovascular health. J Gen Intern Med 17(9):733–735.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.2002.20731.x CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Vupputuri MR, Goswami R, Gupta N, Ray D, Tandon N, Kumar N (2006) Prevalence and functional significance of 25-hydroxy vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms in Asian Indians. Am J Clin Nutr 83(6):1411–1419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Qidwai W, Samani ZA, Azam I, Lalani S (2012) Knowledge, attitude and practice of vitamin supplementation among patients visiting out-patient physicians in a teaching hospital in Karachi. Oman Medical Journal 27(2):116–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Karthik S, Parkar B, Balasubramanian K (2017) Awareness of vitamin D and its deficiency among Burqa Clad women in Navi Mumbai, India. International Journal of Science and Research 6(7):95–97Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sim JJ, Lac PT, Liu IL, Meguerditchian SO, Kumar VA, Kujubu DA, Rasgon SA (2010) Vitamin D deficiency and anemia: a cross-sectional study. Ann Hematol 89(5):447–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mudassir Anwar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Faris El-Dahiyat
    • 2
  • Ammar Jairoun
    • 3
  • Ruba Raed
    • 2
  • Iqra Butt
    • 2
  • Wasan Abdel-Majid
    • 2
  • Hind Abdelgadir
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PharmacyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.College of PharmacyAl Ain UniversityAl AinUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.Health and Safety DepartmentDubai MunicipalityDubaiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations