Vitamin D Status of Inuit Preschoolers Reflects Season and Vitamin D Intake
ABSTRACT Rickets ascribed to hypovitaminosis D remains a public health concern among Aboriginal children in Canada and the United States. Our primary objective in this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors (gender, age, vitamin D intake, and socioeconomic status) for low vitamin D status of Inuit preschoolers living in 16 Arctic communities (51(o)N-70(o)N) and participating in the 2007-2008 Nunavut Child Inuit Health Survey. Children were selected randomly in summer (n = 282) and a follow-up was performed in winter for a subsample (n = 52). Dietary intake was assessed through the administration of a 24-h dietary recall and a FFQ. Anthropometric measurements (height, weight) were assessed. Plasma 25-hydroxy vitamin D was measured using a chemiluminescent assay (Liaison, Diasorin). Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (<75 nmol/L) among preschoolers was 78.6% and 96.8% in summer and winter, respectively. Median vitamin D concentrations and interquartile ranges in summer and winter were 48.3 (32.8-71.3) and 37.7 (21.4-52.0) nmol/L, respectively. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency < 25 and < 37.5 nmol/L was 13.6 and 36.5%, respectively. Children who met or exceeded the adequate intake, those who consumed 2 or more milk servings (1 serving = 250 mL), and those who lived in households without crowding (47.7%) had a better vitamin D status than those who did not. The predictors of vitamin D status were dietary intake and age. Given low traditional food consumption and low consumption of milk, interventions promoting vitamin D supplementation may be required.
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ABSTRACT: The contributions of several IPY health projects are highlighted in the context of population health indicators for Inuit Nunangat. Food and housing are two critical social determinants of health contributing to health issues on many levels. The nutritional deficit associated with food insecurity and the transition away from traditional and towards market foods represents a dual risk with profound consequences. Knowledge of the physiological benefits associated with traditional food consumption is increasing, including for mental health and chronic disease. Ensuring the safety of traditional foods in terms of zoonotic diseases is thus highly valuable and efforts to institute adequate monitoring and address knowledge gaps are underway. Acute respiratory disease among the young remains a significant public health issue with potential long term effects. The human papilloma virus is manifesting itself among women across northern Canada with high risk types that are more similar to profiles observed in Europe than in North America with possible implications for immunization programs. Despite a high prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infections among residents of Inuit Nunangat, the outcomes appear to be relatively benign. Communication of new knowledge on the manifestation of this virus among northern populations is provided to health care providers in the North through modern technology.Climatic Change 11/2012; 115(1). DOI:10.1007/s10584-012-0569-3 · 4.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Inuit children in Nunavut, Canada, have high rates of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) early in life. Whether this commonly results in chronic respiratory symptoms later in life is unknown. A cross-sectional survey of 3- to 5-years-old Inuit children was conducted in all three regions of Nunavut, as part of the "Qanuippitali, what about us, how are we?" survey. Reported chronic cough and wheezing were common in preschool Inuit children, although reported asthma diagnosed by a healthcare professional was uncommon. The presence of smokers in the home tended to be associated with severe LRTI in the first 2 years of life. Reported wheezing as well as reported bronchitis or pneumonia in the previous 12 months was significantly associated with severe LRTI in the first 2 years of life. Reported wheezing was also strongly associated with reported bronchitis or pneumonia in the past 12 months. The prevalence of chronic moist cough could not be clearly assessed, due to limitations in the questionnaire. Severe LRTI in the first 2 years of life was associated with ongoing respiratory morbidity in preschool Inuit children, although symptoms appeared to lessen in severity over time.Journal of Asthma 04/2011; 48(3):241-7. DOI:10.3109/02770903.2011.560320 · 1.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Higher dairy product intake has shown beneficial effects on body weight, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in Caucasian populations. This study evaluated dairy product intake and its association with body weight and CVD risk profile among a population undergoing a dietary transition in Canada, the Nunavik Inuit. Data were collected from August 27 to October 1, 2004, in the 14 villages of Nunavik on a Canadian research icebreaker (Canadian Coast Guard ship Amundsen). Dairy product intake and calcium intake were evaluated in 543 Inuit using a food frequency questionnaire. Physiological (lipid profile, fasting glucose, and insulin) and anthropometrical measurements were also obtained. The range of median dairy product intake extended from 120 g/d in the lowest tertile to 290 g/d in the highest tertile. The median of calcium intake was 524 mg/d. Participants in the highest tertile of dairy product consumption had higher body weight, fat-free mass, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and fasting glucose concentrations than participants in the lowest tertile (all p < 0.01). After adjustments for potential cofactors, no significant association was observed. A higher prevalence of Inuit participants with metabolic syndrome was observed in the higher tertile compared with the first tertile (10.3% vs 1.6%; p < 0.001). Higher dairy product intake in Nunavik Inuit is not related to protective effects on body weight and CVD. The consumption of dairy products in Nunavik Inuit is probably not sufficient to withdraw beneficial effects on body weight or CVD risk factors, as observed in North American populations.Journal of the American College of Nutrition 04/2011; 30(2):92-9. DOI:10.1080/07315724.2011.10719948 · 1.68 Impact Factor