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Vitamin D deficiency in Europe: pandemic?

Overview of attention for article published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (87th percentile)


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Vitamin D deficiency in Europe: pandemic?
Published in
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2016
DOI 10.3945/ajcn.115.120873
Pubmed ID

Kevin D Cashman, Kirsten G Dowling, Zuzana Škrabáková, Marcela Gonzalez-Gross, Jara Valtueña, Stefaan De Henauw, Luis Moreno, Camilla T Damsgaard, Kim F Michaelsen, Christian Mølgaard, Rolf Jorde, Guri Grimnes, George Moschonis, Christina Mavrogianni, Yannis Manios, Michael Thamm, Gert BM Mensink, Martina Rabenberg, Markus A Busch, Lorna Cox, Sarah Meadows, Gail Goldberg, Ann Prentice, Jacqueline M Dekker, Giel Nijpels, Stefan Pilz, Karin M Swart, Natasja M van Schoor, Paul Lips, Gudny Eiriksdottir, Vilmundur Gudnason, Mary Frances Cotch, Seppo Koskinen, Christel Lamberg-Allardt, Ramon A Durazo-Arvizu, Christopher T Sempos, Mairead Kiely


Vitamin D deficiency has been described as being pandemic, but serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] distribution data for the European Union are of very variable quality. The NIH-led international Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) has developed protocols for standardizing existing 25(OH)D values from national health/nutrition surveys. This study applied VDSP protocols to serum 25(OH)D data from representative childhood/teenage and adult/older adult European populations, representing a sizable geographical footprint, to better quantify the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Europe. The VDSP protocols were applied in 14 population studies [reanalysis of subsets of serum 25(OH)D in 11 studies and complete analysis of all samples from 3 studies that had not previously measured it] by using certified liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry on biobanked sera. These data were combined with standardized serum 25(OH)D data from 4 previously standardized studies (for a total n = 55,844). Prevalence estimates of vitamin D deficiency [using various serum 25(OH)D thresholds] were generated on the basis of standardized 25(OH)D data. An overall pooled estimate, irrespective of age group, ethnic mix, and latitude of study populations, showed that 13.0% of the 55,844 European individuals had serum 25(OH)D concentrations <30 nmol/L on average in the year, with 17.7% and 8.3% in those sampled during the extended winter (October-March) and summer (April-November) periods, respectively. According to an alternate suggested definition of vitamin D deficiency (<50 nmol/L), the prevalence was 40.4%. Dark-skinned ethnic subgroups had much higher (3- to 71-fold) prevalence of serum 25(OH)D <30 nmol/L than did white populations. Vitamin D deficiency is evident throughout the European population at prevalence rates that are concerning and that require action from a public health perspective. What direction these strategies take will depend on European policy but should aim to ensure vitamin D intakes that are protective against vitamin D deficiency in the majority of the European population.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 831 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 2 <1%
United Kingdom 2 <1%
Spain 2 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Slovakia 1 <1%
Finland 1 <1%
New Zealand 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 820 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 133 16%
Student > Master 117 14%
Researcher 86 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 82 10%
Other 57 7%
Other 152 18%
Unknown 204 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 259 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 71 9%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 70 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 64 8%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 22 3%
Other 94 11%
Unknown 251 30%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 203. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 August 2022.
All research outputs
of 21,777,067 outputs
Outputs from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
of 12,056 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 378,354 outputs
Outputs of similar age from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
of 110 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,777,067 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,056 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 31.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 378,354 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 110 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.