Introduction: Prisoners are at risk of developing vitamin D deficiency due to their lacking exposure to sunlight. So far, there are no published studies evaluating blood levels of vitamin D in relation to the health status of inmates and the quality of the Italian prison system. Aim: To investigate vitamin D status and its determinants in a cohort of prisoners. Subject and methods: One hundred and seventy-two (172) pri-son inmates (males, n=159, age 47± 11.3 years; females, n=13, age 43.91±12.18 years) of three penitentiaries in the province of Salerno. Vitamin D deficiency, insufficiency and sufficiency were respectively defined as a 25(OH)D level <20 ng/mL; from 20 to 30 ng/mL, >30 ng/mL. Results: In our group, Vitamin D deficiency occurs in 77.32% of the prisoners with 32.55% of the cases having severe insufficiency. Prisoners with higher BMI show lower circulating vitamin D levels (p<0.001). No significant relationship was found with the duration of detention (Pearson R: 0.01). Conclusion: In this cohort of inmates the vitamin D status is determined by BMI, but not by the duration of the detention.
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