Global Perspective of the Vitamin D Status of African-Caribbean Populations: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Publication Name

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition


Background/Objectives: Vitamin D deficiency remains a global public health issue, particularly in minority ethnic groups. This review investigates the vitamin D status (as measured by 25(OH)D and dietary intake) of the African-Caribbean population globally. Subjects/Methods: A systematic review was conducted by searching key databases (PUBMED, Web of Science, Scopus) from inception until October 2019. Search terms included ‘Vitamin D status’ and ‘African-Caribbean’. A random effects and fixed effects meta-analysis was performed by combining means and standard error of the mean. Result: The search yielded 19 papers that included n = 5670 African-Caribbean participants from six countries. A meta-analysis found this population to have sufficient (>50 nmol/L) 25(OH)D levels at 67.8 nmol/L, 95% CI (57.9, 7.6) but poor dietary intake of vitamin D at only 3.0 µg/day, 95% CI (1.67,4.31). For those living at low latitudes ‘insufficient’ (as defined by study authors) 25(OH)D levels were found only in participants with type 2 diabetes and in those undergoing haemodialysis. Suboptimal dietary vitamin D intake (according to the UK recommended nutrient intake of 10 µg/day) was reported in all studies at high latitudes. Studies at lower latitudes, with lower recommended dietary intakes (Caribbean recommended dietary intake: 2.5 µg/day) found ‘sufficient’ intake in two out of three studies. Conclusions: 25(OH)D sufficiency was found in African-Caribbean populations at lower latitudes. However, at higher latitudes, 25(OH)D deficiency and low dietary vitamin D intake was prevalent.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access



Link to publisher version (DOI)