Association of vitamin D insufficiency and low physical activity with fatigue, headaches and psychological distress in college students, North-Mediterranean Croatia – a pilot study

The aim of the study was to investigate serum vitamin D level in undergraduate students of health studies and its relationship with the frequency of vitamin D rich food consumption, sun exposure, study-related fatigue, headache and psychopathological status, and the relationship of the latter three parameters with the type of physical activity. A blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS), Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), nutrition and physical activity were surveyed in randomly chosen students. Study results showed that 49% of students had 25(OH)D insufficiency/deficiency. The MIDAS values were higher in the insufficient/ deficient group (p=0.035) and were associated with hours of weekly cardio exercises (r=-0.48, p=0.031). CORE-OM and total fatigue correlated with 25(OH)D (r=-0.59, p=0.024; r=0.51, p=0.023). Students with sufficient 25(OH)D had a significantly higher vitamin D intake by consuming sardines in their monthly nutrition (p=0.048). 25(OH)D correlated with the amount of monthly consumed sardines (r=0.59, p=0.006) in general. Our results provide initial evidence that an appropriate lifestyle along with proper physical activity, especially cardio exercise, and vitamin D rich nutrition is important to reduce fatigue, headaches and psychological distress.
Keywords: DEPRESSION; FATIGUE; HEADACHE; EXERCISE; VITAMIN D
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 65, No 2, april - june 2021
Authors: Tatjana Kehler, Tanja Grubić Kezele, Ariana Fužinac-Smojver, Tamara Kauzlarić-Živković
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2021;65:59-66
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13112/PC.2021.10

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