Abu Dhabi: Sixty five per cent of females and sixty per cent of males in the UAE suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, lab tests at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) have revealed.

A report presented at the first Medical Laboratory Professionals (MLP) conference held on Sunday revealed that in 2007 there were 17,000 Vitamin D tests performed due to recent lab innovations.

According to Afrozul Haq, Senior Clinical Scientist, Laboratory Medicine, SKMC, sun exposure is the main source of Vitamin D.

“Most people are not exposing themselves to the sun during the right hours which is from 11:00am to 2:00pm and this has resulted in a major Vitamin D epidemic and various health consequences related to it,'' he told Gulf News.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to conditions such as tuberculosis, rickets among children, Alzheimer's, autism, breast cancer, prostate cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, hypertension, organ transplantation, falls/fractures, body ache, and joint pains.

“The sun is the key source of vitamin D; there is no food rich in Vitamin D except fish,'' said Haq.

The UAE MLP week, from May 25-29, reflects the 33rd National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW) worldwide which originated in 1975 under the auspices of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

Its aim is to increase recognition of clinical laboratory science among the healthcare community and general public.

There are more than 600 labs in ten blood collection stations at SKMC, with approximately 150 practitioners of clinical laboratory science.