Method: Nationwide data on FIA from2011 to 2013 were obtained from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. We used serum vitamin D levels from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys during the period corresponding to FIA. Regions were divided into 2 categories based on the latitude N36.2° (Region 1 for high latitude and Region 2 for low latitude). We examined the differences in incidence of FIA and serum vitamin D levels between 2 regions after adjusting for age.
Results: The number of cases of FIA was 2,851, and serum vitamin D levels were obtained in 15,368 persons from 2011 to 2013. FIA incidence was significantly higher (2.00 vs 1.73 per 100,000 person-years, p=0.03), and serum vitamin D level was lower (16.5 vs 18.1 ng/ml, p<0.001) in Region I as compared with Region 2. For all age groups of <20, 20-59, and ≥60 years, serum vitamin D levels were significantly higher in Region 2 than in Region 1. The regional difference of FIA incidence was significant in persons aged <20 years (1.90 in Region1 vs 1.15 in Region 2, p<0.001), but insignificant in other age groups. Serum vitamin D level in Region 1 was higher than that in Region 2 for both males and females. However, there was no difference in FIA incidence between 2 regions according to gender.
Conclusions: Overall, higher FIA incidence and lower vitamin D levels were found in relatively higher latitude region compared with lower region. After stratification by age groups and gender, FIA incidences and serum vitamin D levels were inconsistent in aspect of the regional differences. Further investigations are necessary to identify the relationships between FIA and vitamin D.