Vitamin D deficiency in Sydney skin cancer patients

Anna-Marie McCombie, Rebecca S Mason and Diona L Damian
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02297.x
Published online: 19 January 2009

To the Editor: In addition to its well established link with rickets and osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of autoimmune, malignant and cardiovascular disease.1 Marginal deficiency occurs at serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels of 25–50 nmol/L and frank deficiency at levels < 25 nmol/L,2 but there is some evidence that levels < 80 nmol/L3 or even < 110 nmol/L2 could be suboptimal. In Australia, vitamin D deficiency is most frequent in nursing home residents, dark-skinned veiled women, and residents of southern latitudes.2 However, those who are instructed to habitually minimise sun exposure following a diagnosis of skin cancer may also be at particular risk.

  • Anna-Marie McCombie
  • Rebecca S Mason
  • Diona L Damian

  • University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


We are most grateful for the participation of our volunteers. This study was supported by a Cancer Institute New South Wales Career Development and Support Fellowship (Diona Damian).


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