Title

Evaluation of Self-Assessed State of Health and Vitamin D Knowledge in Emirati and International Female Students in United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Source of Publication

Frontiers in Psychology

Abstract

© Copyright © 2020 Abboud, Rizk, Papandreou, Hijazi, Al Emadi and Waszak. Introduction: Globally, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies, affecting nearly half the world’s population. The objective of this survey was to assess and compare the knowledge about vitamin D and the perceived state of health in Emirati and international tourist female students in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: This is a cross-sectional study that took place in universities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This survey consisted of 17 multiple choice questions and was adapted from a study recently conducted in Poland. The first part of the survey assessed levels of supplementation, diet and UV exposure. Another section evaluated the participants’ self-assessed state of health in terms of vitamin D testing, symptoms related to vitamin D deficiency and general welbeing. The collected data were statistically analyzed using SPSS statistics for windows version 26.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, United States). Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: 105 respondents were Emiratis and 65 were international students. The average age was 21, with an average BMI 23.3 kg/m2. Almost one-third of each group reported using Vitamin D supplements once weekly. The vast majority of both groups reported rarely getting tanned. Almost all participants in both groups reported regular consumption of Vitamin D rich foods. In both groups, more than half reported consuming milk and cheese regularly and up to one-third reported consuming fish in a regular manner. Although more than half of the students rated their health as good; more than two-thirds reported experiencing muscle pain; only half reported having their blood Vitamin D levels measured once; half reported experiencing problems with concentration and more than three-quarters reported experiencing bad mood in the past month. The prevalence of these symptoms was almost similar across different categories of vitamin D supplementation, tanning habits, dietary intake, or nationality. No statistically significant differences were noted between the Emirati and International tourist students regarding any of the studied variables. Conclusion: Notably, more Emirati students were aware of the association between vitamin D and osteoporosis than International tourist students (40% vs. 21.9%, respectively; p < 0.05). On the other hand, both groups had lower knowledge about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hypertension, and the optimal vitamin D level; however, no statistically significant differences were noted regarding this knowledge of Emiratis and international students.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-12-2020

DOI

10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01236

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