Four million Australians deficient in vitamin D

The report, published today, found that while about one in four adults were vitamin D deficient, 17% had a mild deficiency, 6% a moderate deficiency, and less than 1% a severe deficiency.

Vitamin D levels varied considerably by state and season. Deficiency was relatively low across all states and territories over summer, ranging from 6% in Queensland to 19% in New South Wales.

In winter, rates of deficiency were particularly high in the southeastern states of Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania, but remained low in the northern states of Queensland and the Northern Territory. 

One in 20 people were taking vitamin D supplements during 2011–12, mostly women over the age of 54.

The former president of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS), Professor Rebecca Mason, said while routine testing can place a burden on taxpayer dollars, it is reasonable for GPs to do a vitamin D test on people who have at least one