Although nutritional problems are a major concern for the homeless, their vitamin D status has not yet been widely evaluated. This study was a retrospective chart review conducted at a single academic, urban public hospital’s emergency department (ED). Patients whose serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels had been checked in the ED from July 2014 to June 2015 were reviewed and enrolled. For a healthy settled civilian control, 2011 and 2012 data from the Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) were used. A total of 179 patients were enrolled. Vitamin D deficiency was observed in 133 patients (73.7%). The vitamin D deficiency group showed a lower hemoglobin level than that of non-vitamin D deficiency group (p = 0.02). Winter visits were more common among the deficiency group (p = 0.048). Rhabdomyolysis was observed only in the deficiency homeless group (p = 0.03). When using age and sex as covariates of propensity score matching 25(OH)D levels were lower in the homeless than in the healthy control (15.7 ± 7.4 ng/mL vs. 18.2 ± 5.5 ng/mL, p < 0.001). Moreover, when the controls were limited to residents of the same city, the serum 25(OH)D level also was lower in the homeless than in the control (15.7 ± 7.4 ng/mL vs. 17.1 ± 5.4 ng/mL, p = 0.03). In summary, vitamin D deficiency was common and more frequent among homeless patients.
- Vitamin deficiency