Sunscreen Use May Lead to Vitamin D Deficiency

  • By Son Ho-young

    March 06, 2019 14:04

    A growing number of Koreans are suffering from vitamin D deficiency, a condition that occurs when a person does not get enough exposure to sunlight.

    Lack of this vital vitamin can increase the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

    According to the National Health Insurance Service, the number of patients with vitamin D deficiency nearly quadrupled from 18,727 in 2013 to 90,014 in 2017.

    Women in their 50s made up the largest group with 21,345, or 23 percent, followed by women in their 40s and women in their 60s. Women outnumbered men across all age groups. 

    The NHIS said the rise is due in part to a growing awareness of the condition. "More people have started to take an interest in vitamin D as people get to know the importance of it."

    Experts also believe the widespread use of sunscreen might be a factor in the higher rates among women. Park Se-hee at NHIS Ilsan Hospital said, "Putting sunscreen on before going out has become a habit for many women now, and vitamin D deficiency is quite common among women."

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