Original Research

Vitamin D status, hypertension and body mass index in an urban black community in Mangaung, South Africa

Ronette Lategan, Violet L. van den Berg, Jasminka Z. Ilich, Corinna M. Walsh
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 1 | a1210 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i1.1210 | © 2016 Ronette Lategan, Violet L. van den Berg, Jasminka Z. Ilich, Corinna M. Walsh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2016 | Published: 31 October 2016

About the author(s)

Ronette Lategan, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of the Free State, South Africa
Violet L. van den Berg, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of the Free State, South Africa
Jasminka Z. Ilich, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, United States
Corinna M. Walsh, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of the Free State, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: A strong relationship exists between hypertension and body weight. Research has linked both higher blood pressure and body weight with lower vitamin D status.
Objective: This study assessed the vitamin D status of a low-income, urban, black community in South Africa, to examine whether serum levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] are associated with hypertension and body mass index (BMI).
Methods: Data collected from 339 adults (25–64 years) from the Assuring Health for All in the Free State (AHA-FS) study were analysed. Variables measured include serum 25(OH)D, blood pressure, weight and height to determine BMI, and HIV status.
Results: Mean 25(OH)D level was 38.4 ± 11.2 ng/mL for the group; 43.5 ± 11.8 ng/mL and 37.0 ± 10.6 ng/mL for males and females, respectively. Approximately 40% of the participants were HIV-positive and 63.4% hypertensive. Based on BMI, 11.8% were underweight, 33.0% normal weight, 23.0% overweight and 32.1% obese. HIV status showed no correlation with 25(OH)D levels when controlling for BMI. Poor inverse relationships were found between BMI and 25(OH)D (p = 0.01), and between mean arterial blood pressure and 25(OH)D (p = 0.05). When controlling for BMI, no correlation was found between 25(OH)D and the prevalence of hypertension or mean arterial blood pressure.
Conclusion: Approximately 96% of participants had an adequate vitamin D status, which could be attributed to latitude, sunny conditions and expected high levels of sun exposure because of living conditions. Results confirmed a poor inverse relationship between vitamin D status and hypertension, which seems to be dependent on BMI.

Keywords

hypertension; vitamin D; BMI; urban black population; AHA-FS; South Africa

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