Indoor, outdoor, and night work and blood concentrations of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone

Stine Daugaard, Anne H Garde, Åse M Hansen, Helene Tilma Vistisen, Lars Rejnmark, Henrik A Kolstad

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Objectives The aim of this study was to examine blood concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) among indoor, outdoor, permanent and rotating night workers and the association with hours spent outdoors on and off work days. Methods Blood samples were collected from 425 workers (162 indoor, 112 outdoor, 118 rotating night and 33 permanent night workers) throughout all seasons. Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were analyzed by isotope dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS) and an automated immune analyzer, respectively. Personal light exposure levels were continuously recorded and used to estimate hours spent outdoors (all workers). Results Permanent night workers had 25.3% (95% CI 11.9-36.6) lower 25OHD concentration, 4.55 (95% CI 1.39-14.94) higher odds of vitamin D insufficiency (<50 nmol/L) and 14.5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.1-31.1] higher PTH concentration than indoor workers. Outdoor workers had similar 25OHD concentrations but 7.5% (95% CI -0.5-14.9) lower PTH concentration compared to indoor workers. Rotating night workers 25OHD and PTH concentrations did not differ from indoor workers. Concentration of 25OHD increased by 5.2% (95% CI 1.1-9.5) per hour spent outdoor at workdays in the summer. Conclusion Clinicians should be aware that vitamin D insufficiency may be more prevalent among permanent night workers and human resources should consider the positive effect of allowing workers to spend time outdoor during work hours.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Pages (from-to)647-657
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Diet
  • Indoor work
  • Occupation
  • Occupational health
  • Outdoor work
  • Risk factor
  • Season
  • Shift work
  • Ultraviolet radiation


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