Non-western migrants and ethnic minority populations in western countries are particularly at risk of vitamin D deficiency due to darker skin color and low sun exposure. The aim of this study was to examine levels of 25-OH vitamin D in patients attending a Danish health clinic for migrants. Patients attending the clinic represent a distinct group of migrants with longstanding, unresolved symptoms and often multiple illnesses. In this retrospective study, data on patient demographics and vitamin D levels were extracted from the medical records of 156 patients attending a Migrant Health Clinic in 2008-2011 who were considered at-risk for low vitamin D, mainly due to symptoms of diffuse pain in the muscles, bones or joints. Over the follow-up period of 1 year, the number of patients with vitamin D below 50 nmol/L decreased from 80 to 56 %. The median vitamin D level increased from 27 nmol/L [(interquartile ranges (IQR 14.5-45.0)] at baseline to 45 nmol/L (IQR 26.5-64.5) at follow-up. Patient consultations with a holistic approach and close follow-up can help patients with complex symptoms and language barriers to overcome barriers to treatment and adherence, thus leading to improved levels of vitamin D.
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2015, Vol 17, Issue 2, p. 474-481