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01.06.2015 | Short Communication | Ausgabe 6/2015

Osteoporosis International 6/2015

Vitamin D deficiency among physicians: a comparison between hospitalists and community-based physicians

Osteoporosis International > Ausgabe 6/2015
G. Munter, T. Levi-Vineberg, N. Sylvetsky
Wichtige Hinweise
G. Munter and T. Levi-Vineberg equally contributed to this article.



Physicians are indoor workers with low sun exposure. The aim of this study was to compare serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D(25(OH)D) levels among hospitalists and community-based physicians. 25(OH)D levels among hospitalist physicians were significantly lower than those among community-based physicians. Hospitalist physicians should be considered for vitamin D deficiency screening and replacement.


Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a widespread phenomenon, even in a sunny, Mediterranean country such as Israel. Physicians may be vulnerable to low vitamin D levels due to long work hours and lack of sun exposure.


Forty-three physicians employed in a hospital and 38 physicians who work in the community in Jerusalem were enrolled. Their serum 25(OH)D levels were measured, and a questionnaire was filled to assess the risk of vitamin D deficiency.


Mean serum levels of 25(OH)D among hospitalist physicians were significantly lower than those among community-based physicians (15 ± 6 vs. 19.7 ± 6 ng/ml, respectively; p < 0.00 l). Arab physicians had a lower 25(OH)D level compared to Jewish physicians (18.2 ± 6.6 vs. 11.4 ± 2.7 ng/ml; p < 0.001). After exclusion of Arab physicians from the analysis, 25(OH)D levels remained higher in hospitalist compared to community-based physicians (15.9 ± 6 vs. 20.4 ± 6 ng/ml; p < 0.004). The variables that were significantly linked to low mean serum levels of 25(OH)D were as follows: age, night shifts, daily sun exposure, and ethnic origin.


Hospitalist physicians are at greater risk for low vitamin D levels than community-based physicians.

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