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COVID-19 pandemic and vitamin D: rising trends in status and in daily amounts of vitamin D provided by supplements
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  • Published on:
    Response to: COVID-19 pandemic and vitamin D: rising trends in status and in daily amounts of vitamin D provided by supplements
    • Daniel MA McCartney, Lecturer in Human Nutrition & Dietetics School of Biological, Health and Sports Sciences, Technological University Dublin
    • Other Contributors:
      • Declan G Byrne, Consultant Physician and Clinical Associate Professor, Medical Gerontology
      • Martin J Healy, Principal Biochemist
      • Tomas P Griffin, Clinical Fellow
      • John L Faul, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Professor of Respiratory Medicine
      • Paula M O'Shea, Consultant Clinical Biochemist
      • Rose Anne Kenny, Regius Professor of Physic (Medicine) and Consultant Geriatrician

    Dear Editor,
    We welcome the recent study from McKenna and colleagues which shines a light on evolving vitamin D status in South Dublin and on the availability of high dose vitamin D supplements in Ireland. However, we believe that the suggested association between the increased availability of high dose supplements in Ireland and the proposed increase in prevalence of hypervitaminosis D amongst Irish adults is not supported by the presented data.
    As the authors acknowledge, there are no explicit data which show the extent to which these higher dose supplements are being bought or consumed by the Irish population, and specifically, there are no data reported on the extent to which these higher dose supplements are being consumed by the 2.1% of individuals identified to have hypervitaminosis D (serum 25(OH)D >125nmol/L) in this cohort. The reported rise in prevalence of hypervitaminosis D in this population is also ambiguous; the paper cites an increase from 1.7% to 2.1% of individuals with serum 25(OH)D >125nmol/L between April 2019-March 2020 and April 2020-March 2021, but data from the same centre describe a hypervitaminosis D prevalence of 4.8% in an audit of clinical samples obtained over a ten month period in 2013.1 The seasonality of sampling during the two time periods is also not reported, while recent Irish data suggest that the observed decline in samples from hospitalised patients between the two time periods may be a further confounder.2

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.