Main Article Content
Vitamin D deficiency, KSA, Meta-analysis, Prevalence
Objective: Our aim was to review the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in different areas done by many researches.
Methods: By systematic review with meta-analysis we collected the research performed in different areas of Saudi Arabia over the period of 2009-2013. This included both published papers (peer-reviewed) and papers presented at documented scientific conferences.
Results: Fourteen papers were found, thirteen of which were peer-reviewed and published and one had been presented in a conference. They covered five main areas in KSA, and pooling the numbers yielded 6478 total healthy participants. 4694 (72%) were in the least healthy range with deficiency levels < 20 ng/ml, and a total of 5355 (82.7%) were at levels below recommendations (< 30 ng/ml). The central region in Riyadh and Qassim cities represented the most investigated area including 2755 participants with 6 articles; followed by the western region, at Jeddah and Makkah cities, with 2239 participants.
The eastern region (2 articles in Dammam and Al Khobar cities with 339 participants) showed the lowest frequency of vitamin D deficiency at 29.2%, followed by the central region at 74%.
Conclusions: Despite adequate sunlight and adequate intake of dairy products, vitamin D deficiency appears to be a major health problem in the Saudi community. There are some geographic areas in the country that may be at high risk. Control strategies should take these differences into account.