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Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Vitamin D deficiency is associated with non-communicable and infectious diseases, but the vitamin D status of African populations is not well characterised. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults living in Africa. METHODS:For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, African Journals Online, and African Index Medicus for studies on vitamin D prevalence, published from database inception to Aug 6, 2019, without language restrictions. We included all studies with measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations from healthy participants residing in Africa. We excluded case reports and case series, studies that measured 25(OH)D only after a clinical intervention, and studies with only a meeting abstract or unpublished material available. We used a standardised data extraction form to collect information from eligible studies; if the required information was not available in the published report, we requested raw data from the authors. We did a random-effects meta-analysis to obtain the pooled prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in African populations, with use of established cutoffs and mean 25(OH)D concentrations. We stratified meta-analyses by participant age group, geographical region, and residence in rural or urban areas. The study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42018112030. FINDINGS:Our search identified 1692 studies, of which 129 studies with 21?474 participants from 23 African countries were included in the systematic review and 119 studies were included in the meta-analyses. The pooled prevalence of low vitamin D status was 18·46% (95% CI 10·66-27·78) with a cutoff of serum 25(OH)D concentration less than 30 nmol/L; 34·22% (26·22-43·68) for a cutoff of less than 50 nmol/L; and 59·54% (51·32-67·50) for a cutoff of less than 75 nmol/L. The overall mean 25(OH)D concentration was 67·78 nmol/L (95% CI 64·50-71·06). There was no evidence of publication bias, although heterogeneity was high (I2 ranged from 98·26% to 99·82%). Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were lower in populations living in northern African countries or South Africa compared with sub-Saharan Africa, in urban areas compared with rural areas, in women compared with men, and in newborn babies compared with their mothers. INTERPRETATION:The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high in African populations. Public health strategies in Africa should include efforts to prevent, detect, and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in newborn babies, women, and urban populations. FUNDING:Wellcome Trust and the DELTAS Africa Initiative.

SUBMITTER: Mogire RM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7024961 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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