Vitamin D status as an international issue: National surveys and the problem of standardization

Christopher T. Sempos*, Hubert W. Vesper, Karen W. Phinney, Linda M. Thienpont, Paul M. Coates

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

308 Citations (Scopus)


Wide spread variation in measurement results of total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) confounds international efforts to develop evidence-based clinical guidelines. Accordingly, NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) in collaboration with CDC National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Ghent University established the Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) in November 2010. VDSP objectives include: (1) standardize 25(OH)D concentration measurements in national health surveys around the world, (2) evaluate survey differences, (3) extend standardization efforts to assay manufacturers, and to clinical, commercial, and research laboratories, (4) promote standardization of emerging metabolites of vitamin D status, and (5) enable the use of standardized data in patient care and public health. An interlaboratory comparison study is being conducted to assess measurement variability among current assays. Participants include national health surveys from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea, UK and USA, 15 assay manufacturers, and two external quality assurance programs. CDC will implement a formal laboratory certification program. Standardization activities will use single-donor, fresh-frozen serum collected using the CLSI C37 protocol. Initial assay performance criteria, based on biological variability data, are ≤10 % imprecision and ≤5 % bias in relation to the reference values. An ancillary study on commutability of NIST SRM 972a, external quality assurance testing materials is included. To increase the comparability of existing data from different national surveys, master equations will be developed to facilitate the conversion of already existing national survey data to the NIST-Ghent University reference measurement procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
Issue numberSUPPL. 243
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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