Vitamin D is known for its role in bone mineralization by increasing calcium and phosphate absorption in the skeleton. Low levels of vitamin D are related to muscle weakness and bone pain and may lead to osteoporosis and osteomalacia.
Exposure to sun light is a key factor in producing the active form of vitamin. Surprisingly enough Kuwait has high levels of vitamin D deficiency and it is wide spread among all population groups including children, adolescents, adults and elderly.
Few studies are available for vitamin D levels in Kuwait but it is estimated that almost 100% of Kuwaiti population suffers from some form of vitamin D deficiency.
A study that was done in 2005 on full term pregnant Kuwaiti mothers and their babies showed that 40% of the mothers and 60% of the babies are vitamin D deficient on the day of delivery.
When compared to other Asian countries, Kuwaiti females have one of the highest rates of hip fracture as a result of osteoporosis and it is comparable to the rates in the western countries.
A number of reasons are responsible for this new epidemic including: