Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Dorothy Brockopp

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Kathy Hager

Committee Member

Dr. Sharon Lock

Abstract

The discovery that a large portion of the United States population is vitamin D deficient, has led to hundreds of studies in the last decade which aim to discover the role of vitamin D in overall health and to determine what clinical consequences occur in a deficient state. The current clinical knowledge regarding vitamin D deficiency is reviewed, including the definition of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency and its correlation to chronic disease states; the risk factors and epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency; and appropriate clinical screening and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. A research study completed in 2012 to determine the knowledge level of nurse practitioners regarding vitamin D deficiency demonstrated that nurse practitioners overall have poor knowledge of vitamin D deficiency. One subset of vitamin D studies focus on the connection between vitamin D deficiency and Type 2 Diabetes (DM2). Although a cause and effect relationship between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk of DM2 is still elusive, many studies have demonstrated an association between the two chronic disease states. A Literature Review from 2012 demonstrated that patients who are diabetic are more likely than the general population to have vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, individuals who were deficient in vitamin D are more likely to suffer from DM2, be diagnosed at an earlier age and have poorer control of sugar levels. This research indicates that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the development and treatment of DM2, however, more research is needed to examine that role.

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