Optimisation of vitamin D status in global populations

N. C. Harvey*, K. A. Ward, D. Agnusdei, N. Binkley, E. Biver, C. Campusano, E. Cavalier, P. Clark, M. Diaz-Curiel, G. E.H. Fuleihan, P. Khashayar, N. E. Lane, O. D. Messina, A. Mithal, R. Rizzoli, C. Sempos, B. Dawson-Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Vitamin D is important for musculoskeletal health. Concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the most commonly measured metabolite, vary markedly around the world and are influenced by many factors including sun exposure, skin pigmentation, covering, season and supplement use. Whilst overt vitamin D deficiency with biochemical consequences presents an increased risk of severe sequelae such as rickets, osteomalacia or cardiomyopathy and usually warrants prompt replacement treatment, the role of vitamin D supplementation in the population presents a different set of considerations. Here the issue is to keep, on average, the population at a level whereby the risk of adverse health outcomes in the population is minimised. This position paper, which complements recently published work from the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, addresses key considerations regarding vitamin D assessment and intervention from the population perspective. Summary: This position paper, on behalf of the International Osteoporosis Foundation Vitamin D Working Group, summarises the burden and possible amelioration of vitamin D deficiency in global populations. It addresses key issues including screening, supplementation and food fortification.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOsteoporosis International
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© International Osteoporosis Foundation and Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation 2024.


  • Cholecalciferol
  • Deficiency
  • Ergocalciferol
  • Population
  • Supplementation
  • Vitamin D


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