Vitamin D status and demographic and lifestyle determinants among adults in the United States (NHANES 2001-2006)

Yan Cao, Katie L. Callahan, Sreenivas P. Veeranki, Yang Chen, Xuefeng Liu, Shimin Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study looked at risk factors associated with vitamin D levels in the body among a representative sample of adults in the U.S., NHANES III (2001-2006) data were used to assess the relationship between several demographic and health risk factors and vitamin D levels in the body. The Baseline-Category Logit Model was used to test the association between vitamin D level and the potential risk factors age, education, ethnicity, poverty status, physical activity, smoking, alcohol, obesity, diabetes and total cholesterol with both genders. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were significantly associated with age, race, education, physical activity, obesity, diabetes and total cholesterol level for both genders. Almost half of the adults sampled in these data had vitamin D levels lower than the recommended limits, with the highest frequency among the younger groups. Determining an individual's vitamin D level is very difficult without proper clinical testing. Many of those who have low vitamin D levels are unaware. With such a high prevalence of individuals with low vitamin D levels in the U.S. and a better understanding of characteristics associated with these lower levels, increased education and prevention efforts should be focused toward those with higher risk characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-750
Number of pages8
JournalAdvance Journal of Food Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Baseline category-logit model
  • Diabetes
  • National health and nutrition examination survey
  • Obesity
  • Serum cholesterol levels
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Vitamin D insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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