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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 18 March, 2019
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A new map shows where people are getting the least vitamin D in Dublin

The map charts vitamin D deficiency rates across the Dublin area.

summer vit D map FINAL A map of the vitamin D rates across Dublin. Source: TCD

PEOPLE LIVING IN more socio-economically deprived areas in Dublin have higher rates of vitamin D deficiency, according to new research.

A new map charts the level of vitamin D in inhabitants across Dublin.

The map is the result of research carried out at Trinity College Dublin and St James’ Hospital.

It shows that the highest level of vitamin D deficiency in the Dublin area is in Dublin 8 and the Lucan postal area, which are the most ethnically diverse places.

On average, one in four (25%) people in these areas are vitamin D deficient.

This compares to an average across Dublin of one in eight (12.5%).

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is present in very few foods. Exposure to sun can increase levels of vitamin D in the body.

A deficiency of the vitamin is associated with musculoskeletal and bone health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

It is also a risk factor in a greater range of serious health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and inflammatory conditions.

The map shows that Dublin 16 has the lowest rate of deficiency, with the rate being only 5% in summer.

The research was carried out through geo-mapping and traditional research involving over 5,200 participants.

Younger people (aged between 18 and 50) had considerably lower levels of vitamin D than over 50s.

Commenting on the results, author of the study Dr Eamon Laird said that they would help to inform public health policy in the future.

“This is the first time that a geographical map of the greater Dublin region or any urban region in Ireland has been developed,” he said.

Our findings provide useful data to help inform public health policy regarding endemic vitamin D insufficiency to help target the population groups and resident location areas most at risk.

Laird said that the differences of levels between areas was in line with other studies that showed the association between social deprivation and lower vitamin D.

“Also, these locations in Dublin are more ethnically diverse compared to other areas, with higher numbers of non-Caucasians,” he said.

Increased skin pigmentation plus ethnic lifestyle choices such as traditional clothing and/or dietary habits can also increase the risk of deficiency.

Read: Cork lab looks to make salmon our new source of Vitamin D

Read: Taking vitamin D is pointless, say scientists

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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