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Claudia Gagnon, Jean-Patrice Baillargeon, Guillaume Desmarais and Guy D Fink


This study assessed the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) ≤50 nmol/l) and insufficiency (serum 25OHD 51–74 nmol/l) during summer and the predictors of serum 25OHD in young women of reproductive age.


Cross-sectional study.


Between May and September 2006, 153 healthy, ambulatory and essentially Caucasian women, aged 18–41 years, were recruited. Serum 25OHD and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were measured, and questionnaires were evaluated.


About 3.9% of women had serum 25OHD ≤50 nmol/l with an additional 26.8% in the insufficient range. Most women (56.9%) had their blood sampled in September. Month of blood collection significantly influenced serum 25OHD. Body mass index (BMI) was inversely associated with serum 25OHD, while traveling to a warmer climate during winter/spring and using oral contraceptive pills (OCP) were associated with higher serum 25OHD. Sunscreen was used by 77.8% of women, but only 3.3% reported consuming vitamin D supplements. BMI, serum PTH, travel to a warmer climate, and OCP use were independently and significantly associated with serum 25OHD, after adjustment for the month of sampling, and explained 40% of the variance in serum 25OHD.


In Canada, the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency is relatively high (30%) during summer in healthy women of reproductive age. Given the expected decrease in serum 25OHD during winter and the low consumption of vitamin D supplements, a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is to be anticipated during winter, except maybe for those traveling to a warmer climate.

Open access

Aliya A Khan, Christian A Koch, Stan Van Uum, Jean Patrice Baillargeon, Jens Bollerslev, Maria Luisa Brandi, Claudio Marcocci, Lars Rejnmark, Rene Rizzoli, M Zakarea Shrayyef, Rajesh Thakker, Bulent O Yildiz and Bart Clarke

Purpose: To provide practice recommendations for the diagnosis and management of hypoparathyroidism in adults.

Methods: Key questions pertaining to the diagnosis and management of hypoparathyroidism were addressed following a literature review. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane databases from January 2000 to March 2018 using keywords ‘hypoparathyroidism, diagnosis, treatment, calcium, PTH, calcidiol, calcitriol, hydrochlorothiazide and pregnancy’. Only English language papers involving humans were included. We excluded letters, reviews and editorials. The quality of evidence was evaluated based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. These standards of care for hypoparathyroidism have been endorsed by the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Results: Hypoparathyroidism is a rare disease characterized by hypocalcemia, hyperphosphatemia and a low or inappropriately normal serum parathyroid hormone level (PTH). The majority of cases are post-surgical (75%) with nonsurgical causes accounting for the remaining 25% of cases. A careful review is required to determine the etiology of the hypoparathyroidism in individuals with nonsurgical disease. Hypoparathyroidism is associated with significant morbidity and poor quality of life. Treatment requires close monitoring as well as patient education. Conventional therapy with calcium supplements and active vitamin D analogs is effective in improving serum calcium as well as in controlling the symptoms of hypocalcemia. PTH replacement is of value in lowering the doses of calcium and active vitamin D analogs required and may be of value in lowering long-term complications of hypoparathyroidism. This manuscript addresses acute and chronic management of hypoparathyroidism in adults.

Main conclusions: Hypoparathyroidism requires careful evaluation and pharmacologic intervention in order to improve serum calcium and control the symptoms of hypocalcemia. Frequent laboratory monitoring of the biochemical profile and patient education is essential to achieving optimal control of serum calcium.