Vitamin D Status of the British African-Caribbean Residents: Analysis of the UK Biobank Cohort

Rebecca M. Vearing*, Kathryn H. Hart, Karen Charlton, Yasmine Probst, David J. Blackbourn, Kourosh R. Ahmadi, Susan A. Lanham-New, Andrea L. Darling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The vitamin D status of the United Kingdom (UK) African-Caribbean (AC) population remains under-researched, despite an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency due to darker skin phenotypes and living at a high latitude. This cross-sectional study explored the vitamin D status and intake of AC individuals (n = 4046 with a valid serum 25(OH)D measurement) from the UK Biobank Cohort, aged ≥40 years at baseline (2006–2010). Over one third of the population were deficient (<25 nmol/L), 41.1% were insufficient (25–50 nmol/L) and 15.9% were sufficient (>50 nmol/L). Median (IQR) 25(OH)D was 30.0 (20.9) nmol/L. Logistic regression showed that brown/black skin phenotype, winter blood draw, not consuming oily fish and not using vitamin D supplements predicted increased odds of vitamin D deficiency, whilst older age and a summer or autumn blood draw were significantly associated with reduced odds of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were prevalent in this AC population and is of considerable concern given the individual and societal implications of increased morbidity. Public health messaging for this group should focus on year-round vitamin D supplementation and increasing intakes of culturally appropriate vitamin D-rich foods. These data also support the urgent requirement for a revised vitamin D RNI for ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4104
Number of pages23
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding: This work is part of the PhD of R.M.V., which is funded by the Universities Global Part‐ nership Network, co‐supervised by the Universities of Surrey and Wollongong. Funders did not have a role in the study. The researchers are independent to the funders. All authors take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Data Availability Statement

We do not have permission to share UK Biobank data and interested persons should contact the UK Biobank directly if they wish to access the data.


  • 25(OH)D
  • African-Caribbean
  • Afro-Caribbean
  • Diet
  • Skin type
  • Supplement
  • UK Biobank
  • Vitamin D


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