A new study has found major differences in levels of Vitamin D deficiency in different areas of Dublin.
The study carried out by Trinity College and St James’s Hospital involved over 5,200 people to provide a detailed picture of the differences in Vitamin D intake in Dublin.
Vitamin D deficiency has long been associated with musculoskeletal and bone health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
A growing number of studies now suggest that vitamin D deficiency may also be a risk factor in a wider range of serious health conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
In the city as a whole 12.5% of the population was found to have deficient levels of the vitamin.
The study includes a visual map of the city which illustrates which areas have the highest levels of Vitamin D deficiency.
The results show a clear divide between different postal codes - with some areas showing five times higher rates of deficiency than others.
According to the study, two areas in particular - Dublin 8 and Lucan - had the lowest rates of the vitamin with nearly a quarter of residents showing a deficiency - double the average for the city as a whole.
In comparison, in Dublin 16 only one in 20 people showed a deficiency during the summer months while in Kildare, the deficiency rate - during the winter months - was only 7.6%.
The study also found differences between genders with females showing significantly higher levels of the vitamin than men - 25% higher on average.
The findings of the study have been released to coincide with Vitamin D awareness day - which recognises vitamin D deficiency as a world problem.
The study's author, Dr Eamon Laird from the Centre for Medical Gerontology at Trinity, said the findings can help target population groups and locations “most at risk” in Dublin.
“Other studies have shown an association between social deprivation and lower vitamin D - possibly due to diet as vitamin D-rich foods such as oily fish or fortified foods tend to be more expensive,” he said.
“Also, these locations in Dublin are more ethnically diverse compared to other areas, with higher numbers of non-Caucasians. Increased skin pigmentation plus ethnic lifestyle choices such as traditional clothing and/or dietary habits can also increase the risk of deficiency.”