Vitamin d status in adolescents during covid-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional comparative study

Martina Meoli, Franco Muggli, Sebastiano A.G. Lava, Mario G. Bianchetti, Carlo Agostoni, Claudine Kocher, Thomas W. Bührer, Letizia Ciliberti, Giacomo D. Simonetti, Gregorio P. Milani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vitamin D has been claimed to be effective in the response to infections, including the respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is supposed that lockdown measures and fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection might reduce vitamin D levels through the modification of lifestyle. However, very few data exist on the association between lockdown measures and vitamin D status in humans. For this cross-sectional comparative study, adolescents (n = 298) aged 18 to 19 years were enrolled during the compulsory military fitness-for-duty evaluation between July and December 2020 in Southern Switzerland. Beyond anthropometric measurements, participants filled in a structured questionnaire about their lifestyle and a blood specimen was sampled for the determination of total 25-hydroxy-vitamin D. The obtained data were compared with those of 437 adolescents enrolled at the military fitness-for-duty evaluation during the same period of the year in the context of the CENERI study (2014–2016). The anthropometric measures were similar between the two study groups. The levels of vitamin D were also comparable (77 (64–91) vs. 74 (60–92) nmol/L, p = 0.50; median and interquartile range). A total of 38 (13%) and 43 (9.8%) subjects presented insufficient (<50 nmol/L) levels of vitamin D (p = 0.42) during the current pandemic and in the CENERI study, respectively. These data do not support the hypothesis that during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, late adolescents are at higher risk of vitamin insufficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1467
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Complications
  • COVID19
  • Diet
  • Insufficiency
  • Lockdown
  • Pandemic
  • Prevention
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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