Effects of skin thickness, age, body, fat and sunlight on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Author(s): Need AG, Morris HA, Horowitz M, Nordin C

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that the age-related decline in skin thickness may contribute to the age-related decline in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. We measured skinfold thickness on the back of the hand, serum 25(OH)D, height, and weight in 433 normal postmenopausal women. We also noted the average daily hours of sunlight in the month in which the observations were made and in the preceding 2 mo. Serum 25(OH)D was positively related to hours of sunlight (with a time lag of 2 mo) and to skin thickness, and negatively to body mass index (wt/ht2). Serum 25(OH)D fell significantly after age 69 y. Seasonal variation of serum 25(OH)D was greater in lean than in fat subjects, which we attributed to the larger fat mass and consequent larger pool size in the latter group. The results suggest that the tendency for serum 25(OH)D to fall with age is due in part to the age-related decline in skin thickness.

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