Sun exposure and vitamin D status as northeast asian migrants become acculturated to life in Australia

S. Guo, P.H.F. Gies, K. King, Robyn Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 The American Society of Photobiology. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in Northeast-Asian immigrants to western countries than in the local population; prevalence equalizes as immigrants adopt the host country's culture. In a community-based study of 100 Northeast-Asian immigrants in Canberra, Australia, we examined predictors of vitamin D status, its association with indicators of acculturation (English language use; time since migration) and mediators of that association. Participants completed a sun and physical activity diary and wore an electronic ultraviolet radiation (UVR) dosimeter for 7 days. Skin colour was measured by reflectance spectrophotometry. Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and cardio-metabolic biomarkers were measured on fasting blood. In a multiple linear regression model, predictors for 25(OH)D concentration were season of blood collection, vitamin D supplementation, UVR exposure, body mass index, physical activity and having private health insurance (R2 = 0.57). Greater acculturation was associated with lower risk of vitamin D deficiency (de-seasonalized 25(OH)D level 5.0 mmol L-1) (AOR: 7.48 [95%CI 1.51-37.0]). Targeted public health approaches are required to manage the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in migrants retaining a traditional lifestyle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1461
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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