Elevated prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in a population attending a health centre in Tenerife, Canary Islands
To the Editor:
The existence of hypovitaminosis D in the population is well known, both in the general population and in certain groups of patients [1,2], being most significant in older people who are institutionalised in residential homes .
The Canary Islands, being an archipelago with a large number of hours of sun and, therefore, with a high availability of what constitutes the natural source of vitamin D, might be expected to have a low prevalence of hypovitaminosis D expected in its population. However, various studies in our environment have confirmed that levels of vitamin D are as low as those in other areas of Spain situated further north [4-8]. Hence, highly notable is a study carried out in Canarian medical students who, being young, healthy and with sufficient knowledge of the physiology of vitamin D, and even though spending a large number of hours in the sun, still had a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D .