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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-108

Paradoxical Vitamin D deficiency in a sunny country: A narrative review of the literature from the United Arab Emirates (1992–2018)

1 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai; Department of Endocrinology, Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2 Department of Endocrinology, Rashid Hospital, Dubai, UAE
3 Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College; Dubai Diabetes Center, Dubai, UAE
4 Endocrine Division, Medcare Multispecialty Hospital, Dubai, UAE
5 Department of Endocrinology, Imperial College London Diabetes Center, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Correspondence Address:
Salem A Beshyah
Department of Medicine, Dubai Medical College, Dubai

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_50_19

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Deficiency of Vitamin D is a global problem related to lack of sunlight exposure and reduced dietary intake. Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) affects mainly skeletal structure and function but has a number of recognized nonskeletal effects that have wide ramifications. It sounds ironic that low serum Vitamin D levels are widely documented in a sunny country like the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study objective was to review the literature on VDD in the UAE. This is a narrative nonsystematic review of the literature on the epidemiological and clinical aspects of Vitamin D status in the UAE based on PubMed search using two search terms “Vitamin D” and “Emirates.” We discuss the various themes that emerged as follows: epidemiology and disease burden of VDD in the UAE population in general and in specific groups (adults, children, females, and pregnant and nursing mothers); awareness of dietary intake, climate, genetics, and metabolic factors affecting serum Vitamin D levels; and the overview of current clinical management guidelines, interventional trials, and clinical practices. VDD is a widely documented health problem in the UAE population as a whole and in several special groups. This may have serious skeletal and nonskeletal health implications.

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