Shorouq Al Qahtani
Background: The Physical and biological risk factors for vitamin D inadequacy are known, however, cultural-and population-specific behaviors and attitudes that influence these risk factors are less well documented.
Objectives: To assess knowledge of the Family Medicine clinics` patients and their relatives who are accompanying them toward vitamin D deficiency and their associated risk factors.
Subjects and methods: This was a cross sectional study including a Convenient sample of attendees of Family Medicine clinics at KFSH&RC-J (patients and their relatives). Self-administered questionnaire was designed especially for this study. It consisted of two parts: First part included information on demographic and personal characteristics. The second part included information on knowledge towards vitamin D deficiency and their associated risk factors.
Results: Out of 385 patients invited to participate in the study, 342 filled in the questionnaires giving a response rate of 88.8%. Their age ranged between 17 and 80 years with a mean of 36.9 (SD=13.6). Almost two thirds of them were females (66.4%). Majority of participants (94.2%) reported that they heard of vitamin D. Most of the participants (78.4%) recognized correctly all items of the role of vitamin D in the body. Majority of the participants (90.6%) X recognized that osteoporosis is associated with vitamin D deficiency while only 37.4% recognized that rickets is associated with vitamin D deficiency. Only 15.2% of the participants knew correctly all studied risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Only 15.8% of the participants knew correctly the time that should be spent in the sun to allow synthesis of vitamin D. Only 19.9% of the participants could recognize correctly all symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Females, high educated, working as nurses, and those with history of vitamin D deficiency reported significant higher total vitamin D knowledge score.
Conclusion: Current awareness about vitamin D among people attending a tertiary care center in Jeddah city is insufficient particularly regarding effective sunlight exposure, risk factors for vitamin D deficiency, dietary sources of vitamin D and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency other than musculoskeletal pain.