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עמוד בית
Sat, 26.11.22

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 22

Journal 11, November 2020
pages: 696-699

Sex Differences in Vitamin D Deficiency and Anthropometric Measurements in School-age Children from Rural Areas in Israel

Summary

Background:

Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health. Because peak bone mass accrual occurs during childhood and adolescence, vitamin D insufficiency during this period of life could cause adverse health outcomes.

Objectives:

To explore the potential sex differences in anthropometric indicators and vitamin D status among primary school-age children.

Methods:

A modified food-frequency intake questionnaire was completed by 116 pre-pubertal children (52 girls, 64 boys). Body measurements were recorded and blood was drawn to assess vitamin D status. All children were of Arab-Israeli origin and lived in villages or rural areas in the north-east area of Israel.

Results:

Prevalence of obesity was higher among girls (34%) compared to boys (21.9%, P = 0.018). All the children were vitamin D insufficient, and 80% were deficient. Plasma vitamin D was significantly higher among boys (12.4 ng/ml) compared to girls (9.1 ng/ml, P < 0.01). A significant negative correlation was found between vitamin D status and weight percentile for girls (r = -0.43, P < 0.05) but not for boys. There was a trend toward a statistically significant inverse correlation between vitamin D status and body fat percent in the girls (r = -0.37, P = 0.07). Sex frameworks are important for the understanding of the determinants of health and the development of effective health promotion programs.

Conclusions

: Pre-pubertal girls in Arab villages should be provided with tailor-made nutrition and physical activity programs for promoting health.

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