Int J Prison Health 2018 03;14(1):16-25
Wagga Wagga Rural Clinical School, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame , Sydney, Australia.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate if any exposure to segregation minimal association in a single male prison population had any association with an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Design/methodology/approach A retrospective case study was undertaken with all inmates who had a 25-hyrdoxy-vitamin D test taken during the study period deemed eligible. Hand searching of the medical records by an independent party identified eligible participants whose data were recorded for analysis. Findings In total, 124 prisoners were deemed eligible for inclusion; 67 were vitamin D sufficient and 57 were vitamin D deficient by Australian standards. Time in segregation minimal association was shown not to be significant, however, smoking (OR 2.93, 95% CI 1.27-6.81, p=0.012) and having Asian ethnicity (OR 4.16, 95% CI 1.56-11.10, p=0.004) independently significantly increased the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Research limitations/implications This research is limited by its study design, small sample size and single location. Originality/value This paper presents the first published research into vitamin D levels in a prison population in Australia, and provides a basis for a larger prospective cohort study.