(HealthDay News) — Shiftworkers, healthcare workers, and indoor workers are at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, according to a review published online in BMC Public Health.

Sebastian Straube, PhD, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues reviewed 71 previously published studies that included 53,345 people in the northern and southern hemispheres.

The team noted that indoor workers had lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels compared to outdoor workers (40.6 ± 13.3 vs 66.7 ± 16.7 nmol/L). Vitamin D deficiency was found in 80% of shift workers. More than three-quarters (78%) of indoor workers and 72% of health care students were also deficient in vitamin D. Medical residents were more likely to be deficient than doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.

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“Further high-quality studies are needed to explore the relationship between occupation and vitamin D status,” the authors write. “Guidelines on screening for vitamin D deficiency and supplementation strategies in vulnerable groups should include consideration of occupation.”

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  1. Sowah D, Fan X, Dennett L, et al. Vitamin D levels and deficiency with different occupations: a systematic review. BMC Public Health. 22 June 2017. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4436-z