Patterns of human migration in the last 500 years linked to vitamin D deficiency today

People’s ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight is reduced by skin pigmentation, and vitamin D deficiency is directly related to the risk of death, including cardiovascular disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and some cancers.

A new job Oxford Economic Documents In countries over the past 500 years, migration has flowed from areas with high sunlight to areas with low sunlight, affecting modern health outcomes.

The researchers noted that people’s ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight is reduced by skin pigmentation, and that vitamin D deficiency is directly linked to a higher risk of death, including cardiovascular disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some cancers. . Recent studies have even found that vitamin D affects severity COVID-19.

Researchers here focused on groups that migrated from areas of sunlight between 1500 and today to areas with less sunlight. The resulting population change has led to a significant increase in the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Researchers have studied the overall health effects of this migration over a long historical perspective.

Researchers have developed a measure that proxies the risk of vitamin D deficiency in a particular population. The event observed the difference between the intensity of sunlight in the ancestral habitat of the population and the actual level of sunlight in the existing habitat.

Using the difference between ancestor and surrounding sunlight as a measure of the potential risk of vitamin D deficiency, the researchers examined its explanatory power in relation to life expectancy on Earth. The researchers found that the risk of vitamin D deficiency was negatively related to life expectancy, all of which were equal.

Researchers here say that there is widespread awareness of the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure today, which has led people to try to prevent sunburn through methods such as sun protection and limited outdoor exposure. Effective treatments for skin cancer are also widespread. Humans also spend more time indoors than their prehistoric fathers, which reduces exposure to sunlight. As a result, the risk of premature death due to excessive sun exposure has decreased since prehistoric times.

However, less exposure to sunlight increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially in people whose grandparents have higher skin pigmentation from areas of high sunlight.

As a result, researchers here have concluded that an imbalance between the intensity of skin pigmentation and the migration of ambient sunlight can link and explain today’s global health differences. Low sunlight regions, which receive significant migration from high sunlight areas, live shorter lives than those without these migration flows.

“This study is important because it is the first study to document the link between increased risk of vitamin D deficiency and life expectancy differences between countries and regions. Thus, the addition of vitamin D supplements, especially in the fall and winter months, serves to highlight a potentially large lifetime benefit. “The author said Dr. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen.

Reference: January 7, 2021, Oxford Economic Documents.
DOI: 10.1093 / oep / gpaa047

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