University of Oulu

Ikonen, H., Lumme, J., Seppälä, J. et al. The determinants and longitudinal changes in vitamin D status in middle-age: a Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study. Eur J Nutr 60, 4541–4553 (2021).

The determinants and longitudinal changes in vitamin D status in middle-age : a Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study

Saved in:
Author: Ikonen, Helmi1; Lumme, Johanna2,3,4; Seppälä, Jussi1,5,6;
Organizations: 1Center for Life-Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital, 90220, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Mental and Substance Use Disorders, South Carelia Social and Healthcare District, 53130, Lappeenranta, Finland
6Social Insurance Institute of Finland, 70 110, Kuopio, Finland
7Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
8Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, St. Mary’s Campus, Imperial College London, London, W2 1PG, UK
9Department of Life Sciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, Middlesex, UK
10Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, 90220, Oulu, Finland
11Institute of Biomedicine, Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
12Institute of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Metabolic Diseases, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-572, Poznań, Poland
13Department of Pediatrics and Adolescence, Oulu University Hospital, 90220, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-12


Purpose: Populations living in the Nordic countries are at high risk for vitamin D (VitD) deficiency or insufficiency. To reduce the risk, nationwide interventions based on food fortification and supplementation are being implemented. However, there is limited evidence about the impact of such public health campaigns on target populations.

Methods: We studied an unselected sample of 3650 participants (56.2% females) from the longitudinal Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 with repeated measures of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] at ages 31 (1997) and 46 (2012–2013). Timepoints corresponded to the period before and during the food fortification. We examined the effect of VitD intake from the diet and supplementation, body mass index and previous 25(OH)D concentration on 25(OH)D concentration at 46 years using a multivariable linear regression analysis. A 25(OH)D z score adjusted for sex, season, latitude and technical effect was used in the analysis.

Results: We observed an increase of 10.6 nmol/L in 25(OH)D, when the baseline 25(OH)D was 54.3 nmol/L. The prevalence of serum 25(OH)D below < 50 nmol/L was halved. The changes were found for both sexes and were more pronounced in winter compared to summer months. Regular VitD supplementation had a significant positive effect on 25(OH)D at the age of 46, as well as had the dietary intake of fortified dairy products and fish, and the previous 25(OH)D concentration. However, the intake of fat-spreads albeit VitD-fortified, did not predict 25(OH)D.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrated the positive impact of the fortification programme on VitD status in middle-aged population.

see all

Series: European journal of nutrition
ISSN: 1436-6207
ISSN-E: 1436-6215
ISSN-L: 1436-6207
Volume: 60
Issue: 8
Pages: 4541 - 4553
DOI: 10.1007/s00394-021-02606-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
3141 Health care science
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. Maarit Niinimäki, Marja Ojaniemi: University Hospital of Oulu and PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu Research Funds. Terhi Piltonen: The Academy of Finland, the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation. Johanna Lumme: Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation and the Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme, HBS-DP (UniOGS, University of Oulu). Saranya Palaniswamy: Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation and H2020-643774 iHealth-T2D, H2020-825762 EDCMET. Jussi Seppälä: South Carelia Social and Healthcare District. Sylvain Sebert, Helmi Ikonen and Marjo-Riitta Järvelin: H2020-633595 DynaHEALTH, H2020-733206 LifeCycle, H2020-824989 EUCANCONNECT, H2020-873749 LongITools, H2020-848158 EarlyCause, the JPI HDHL, PREcisE project, ZonMw the Netherlands no. P75416. Marjo-Riitta Järvelin: Academy of Finland grant numbers 24300796, 24302031, 285547 (EGEA); H2020-643774 iHealth-T2D, H2020-825762 EDCMET and Medical Research Council Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council PREcisE (Nutrition & Epigenome, grant reference: MR/S03658X/1), The Joint Programming Initiative a Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL/EU-H2020); ERDF European Regional Development Fund (539/2010 A31592) Karl-Heinz Herzig: H2020-633595 DynaHEALTH and H2020-643774 iHealth-T2D, H2020-825762 EDCMET.
EU Grant Number: (643774) iHealth-T2D - Family-based intervention to improve healthy lifestyle and prevent Type 2 Diabetes amongst South Asians with central obesity and prediabetes
(825762) EDCMET - Metabolic effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: novel testing METhods and adverse outcome pathways
(633595) DYNAHEALTH - Understanding the dynamic determinants of glucose homeostasis and social capability to promote Healthy and active aging
(733206) LIFECYCLE - Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health
(824989) EUCAN-Connect - A federated FAIR platform enabling large-scale analysis of high-value cohort data connecting Europe and Canada in personalized health
(874739) LONGITOOLS - Dynamic longitudinal exposome trajectories in cardiovascular and metabolic non-communicable diseases
(848158) EarlyCause - Causative mechanisms & integrative models linking early-life-stress to psycho-cardio-metabolic multi-morbidity
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285547
Detailed Information: 285547 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: Supplementary information:
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit