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Schools are important settings for increasing reach and uptake of adolescent mental health interventions. There is limited consensus on the focus and content of school-based mental health services (SBMHSs), particularly in low-resource settings. This study elicited the views of diverse stakeholders in two urban settings in India about their priorities and preferences for SBMHSs.
We completed semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with adolescents (n = 191), parents (n = 9), teachers (n = 78), school counsellors (n = 15), clinical psychologists/psychiatrists (n = 7) in two urban sites in India (Delhi and Goa). Qualitative data were obtained on prioritized outcomes, preferred content and delivery methods, and indicated barriers.
All stakeholders indicated the need for and acceptability of SBMHSs. Adolescents prioritized resolution of life problems and exhibited a preference for practical guidance. Parents and teachers emphasized functional outcomes and preferred to be involved in interventions. In contrast, adolescents' favored limited involvement from parents and teachers, was related to widespread concerns about confidentiality. Face-to-face counselling was deemed to be the most acceptable delivery format; self-help was less frequently endorsed but was relatively more acceptable if blended with guidance or delivered using digital technology. Structured sensitization was recommended to promote adolescent's engagement. Providers endorsed a stepped care approach to address different levels of mental health need among adolescents.
SBMHSs are desired by adolescents and adult stakeholders in this setting where few such services exist. Sensitization activities are required to support implementation. School counsellors have an important role in identifying and treating adolescents with different levels of mental health needs, and a suite of interventions is needed to target these needs effectively and efficiently.
Consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) among adolescents falls below recommendations in many Western countries. The impact of social and emotional aspects of family life on adolescent dietary behaviour may contribute to this, yet remains under-investigated. The present study examines the association between adolescents’ perceptions of emotional home atmosphere (EHA) and their F&V consumption frequency.
An FFQ was used to assess F&V consumption frequency. EHA was assessed by an eight-item measure with three subscales: perceived home warmth, strictness and relational tension. EHA subscales were used as binary variables: a score equal to or above the median value was considered as a higher perception, while a score below the median was considered as a lower perception of the EHA in question. Country differences in meeting the European 5-a-day recommendations were described. Further, the association between EHA and F&V consumption frequency was investigated using multiple linear regression.
Regional examination centres in eight European countries.
Adolescents (n 3196) aged 12–18 years.
The mean F&V consumption frequency was 3·27 (sd 2·84) times/d. Only 16·1 % of boys and 18 % of girls in our study sample met the recommendation of five F&V daily. After controlling for age, sex, education level of the parents and country of origin, perceived home warmth was associated with a 16 (95 % CI 9, 22) % higher F&V consumption frequency (P < 0·001).
F&V consumption frequency was suboptimal in the survey areas. Interventions targeting perceived warmth as a component of EHA could potentially have a positive effect on adolescents’ dietary behaviour.
The prevalence of common mental disorders has not declined in high-income countries despite substantial increases in service provision. A possible reason for this lack of improvement is that greater willingness to disclose mental disorders might have led to increased reporting of psychiatric symptoms, thus masking reductions in prevalence. This masking hypothesis was tested using data from two trials of interventions that increased willingness to disclose and that also measured symptoms. Both interventions involved Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, which is known to reduce stigma, including unwillingness to disclose a mental health problem.
A cross-lagged panel analysis was carried out on data from two large Australian randomised controlled trials of MHFA training. The first trial involved 1643 high school students in Year 10 (mean age 15.87 years), who were randomised to receive either teen MHFA training or physical first aid training as the control. The second trial involved 608 Australia public servants who were randomised to receive either eLearning MHFA, blended eLearning MHFA or eLearning physical first aid as the control. In both trials, willingness to disclose a mental disorder as described in vignettes and psychiatric symptoms (K6 scale) were measured pre-training, post-training and at 12-month follow-up.
Both trials found that MHFA training increased willingness to disclose. However, a cross-lagged panel analysis showed no effect of this change on psychiatric symptom scores.
Greater willingness to disclose did not affect psychiatric symptom scores. Because the trials increased willingness to disclose through a randomly assigned intervention, they provide a strong causal test of the masking hypothesis. It is therefore unlikely that changes in willingness to disclose are masking reductions in prevalence in the population.
Temperament and personality traits, including negative emotionality/neuroticism, may represent risk factors for eating disorders. Further, risk factors may differ by sex. We examined longitudinal temperament/personality pathways of risk for purging and binge eating in youth stratified by sex using data from a large-scale prospective study.
Temperament, borderline personality features, sensation seeking, ‘big five’ personality factors, and depressive symptoms were measured at five time points from early childhood to adolescence in 5812 adolescents (3215 females; 2597 males) in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. We conducted univariate analyses with these predictors of binge eating and purging at 14 and 16 years for total and sex-stratified samples. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to fit data to a path analysis model of hypothesized associations.
Of the total sample, 12.54% engaged in binge eating and 7.05% in purging by 16 years. Prevalence was much greater and increased dramatically for females from 14 years (7.50% binge eating; 2.40% purging) to 16 years (15.80% binge eating; 9.50% purging). For both sexes, borderline personality, depressive symptoms and lower emotional stability predicted eating disorder behaviors; sensation seeking and conscientiousness were also significant predictors for females. SEM identified an ‘emotional instability’ pathway for females from early childhood into adolescence (RMSEA = 0.025, TLI = 0.937 and CFI = 0.970).
Binge eating and purging are common in female and male adolescents. Early temperament/personality factors related to difficulty regulating emotions were predictive of later adolescent eating disorder behaviors. Results have important clinical implications for eating disorder prevention and intervention.
Cognitive strategies that adolescents use to cope with negative emotions might show distinct profiles of cognitive emotion regulation strategies, which could be differentially associated with depressive symptoms. In total, 411 Dutch adolescents who had experienced at least one stressful life event that required some coping strategy participated in this study, including 334 nonclinical and 77 clinically depressed adolescents (12–21 years). A person-centered approach with Latent Profile Analysis was used to identify underlying profiles of cognitive emotion regulation based on the adolescents’ reports of their use of cognitive emotion regulation strategies when they were confronted with stressful life events. Nine different strategies, five adaptive and four maladaptive, were used as indicators. Four profiles with distinct features were found in the nonclinical sample, as well as in the combined sample of nonclinical and clinically depressed adolescents: Low Regulators, High Regulators, Maladaptive Regulators, and Adaptive Regulators. In both samples, the High Regulators profile was most commonly used, followed by the Adaptive, Maladaptive, and Low Regulators profile. Maladaptive Regulators endorsed higher levels of depressive symptoms relative to Low, High, and Adaptive Regulators. The findings underscore the utility of using a person-centered approach in order to identify patterns of cognitive emotion regulation deficits in psychopathology.
Many school-based interventions for obesity prevention have been proposed with positive changes in behavior, but unsatisfactory results on weight change. The objective was to verify the effectiveness of a combined school and home-based obesity prevention program on excessive weight gain in adolescents. Teachers delivered the school-based primary prevention program to fifth and sixth graders (9 schools, 48 control classes, 49 intervention classes), which included encouraging healthy eating habits and physical activity. A subgroup of overweight or obese adolescents also received a home-based secondary prevention program delivered by community health professionals. Schools were randomized to intervention or control group. Intent-to-treat analysis used mixed models for repeated continuous measures and considered the cluster effect. The main outcomes were changes in body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (%body fat) after one school-year of intervention and follow-up. Against our hypothesis, BMI increased more in the intervention group than in the control group (Δ=0.3kg/m2; p=0.05) with a greater decrease in %body fat among boys (Δ=-0.6%; p=0.03) in the control group. The intervention group increased physical activity by 12.5 minutes per week compared with the control group. Female adolescents in the intervention group ate healthier items more frequently than in the control group. The subgroup who received both the school and home interventions had an increase in %body fat than in the control group (Δ=0.89%; p=0.01). In this study, a behavioral change led to a small increased in physical activity and healthy eating habits but also to an overall increase in food intake.
The current review aimed to synthesise the literature on food literacy interventions among adolescents in secondary schools, the attitudes and perceptions of food literacy interventions in secondary schools, and their effects on dietary outcomes.
The systematic review searched five electronic databases from the earliest record to present.
The studies selected for the review were from sixteen countries: Australia (n 10), Canada (n 1), China (n 1), France (n 1), Greece (n 2), Iran (n 1), South Africa (n 1), South India (n 1), Kenya (n 1), Norway (n 2), Portugal (n 1), Denmark (n 1), Northern Ireland (n 1), USA (n 17), UK (n 1) and Sweden (n 2).
Adolescents aged 10–19 years.
Forty-four studies were eligible for inclusion. Adolescents with greater nutritional knowledge and food skills showed healthier dietary practices. Studies found a mixed association between food literacy and long-term healthy dietary behaviour. Two studies showed an improvement in adolescents’ cooking skills and food safety knowledge; six studies showed an improvement in overall food safety knowledge; six studies showed an improvement in overall food and nutritional knowledge; and two studies showed an improvement in short-term healthy dietary behaviour.
Food literacy interventions conducted in a secondary-school setting have demonstrated a positive impact on healthy food and nutritional knowledge. However, there appears to be limited evidence supporting food literacy interventions and long-term dietary behaviours in adolescents. More evidence-based research is required to adequately measure all domains of food literacy and more age-specific food literacy interventions.
A novel CBT-based intervention, tailored for young people, was developed in response to concerns about traditional diagnostically based approaches. Psychology of Emotions workshops use a normative approach to emotional difficulty instead of a diagnostic framework.
To evaluate the acceptability and efficacy of Psychology of Emotions workshops within an IAPT service for young people aged 16–25 years.
This was a mixed-methods study, evaluating routinely collected self-report measures of depression and anxiety, and qualitative feedback forms. The main outcomes were rates of attendance, change in symptom severity, and participant views of the intervention.
From January to September 2016, 595 young people were invited to attend the Psychology of Emotions workshops, of whom 350 (58.8%) attended at least one session. Young people who attended all six sessions (8.1%) experienced significant reductions in self-reported anxiety (d = .72) and depression (d = .58) and 35.5% were classified as recovered at completion. Those who attended at least two sessions (41.3%) reported smaller but significant improvements in anxiety (d = .42) and depression (d = .45); 22.0% were classified as recovered at the last session attended. Participants provided largely positive feedback about the intervention.
Psychology of Emotions is a promising treatment option, delivered outside of a diagnostic framework, for young people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties seen within IAPT services. Better understanding reasons for non-attendance might enable the intervention to be made accessible to more young people.
To investigate whether adherence to the adapted Mediterranean Diet Score for Adolescents (MDS_A) and the adapted Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for Adolescents (KIDMED_A) is associated with better food/nutrient intakes and nutritional biomarkers.
The Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study is a cross-sectional study aiming to obtain comparable data on a variety of nutritional and health-related parameters in European adolescents aged 12·5–17·5 years.
Nine European countries.
European adolescents (n 2330) recruited to the HELENA study. Dietary intake was obtained with 24 h dietary recalls, an FFQ and a Food Choices and Preferences questionnaire. MDS_A was calculated as a categorical variable using cut-offs (MDS_A), as a continuous variable (zMDS_A) and with energy adjustments (zEnMDS_A). The KIDMED_A score was also calculated.
Multilevel linear regression analysis showed positive associations for zMDS_A and KIDMED_A with serum levels of vitamin D, vitamin C, plasma folate, holo-transcobalamin, β-carotene and n-3 fatty acids, while negative associations were observed with trans-fatty acid serum levels. For categorical indices, blood biomarkers showed few significant results. zMDS_A and KIDMED_A showed positive associations with vegetables and fruits intake, and negative associations with energy-dense and low-nutritious foods. zMDS_A and KIDMED_A were positively associated with all macronutrients, vitamins and minerals (all P < 0·0001), except with monosaccharides and PUFA for KIDMED_A and cholesterol for both indices (P < 0·05).
zMDS_A and KIDMED_A have shown the strongest associations with the dietary indicators and biomarkers that have been associated with the Mediterranean diet before, and are therefore considered the most appropriate and valid Mediterranean diet scores for European adolescents.
The present study aimed to assess and decompose the socio-economic inequality in unhealthy snacks consumption among adolescent students in Kerman, Iran.
The data were obtained from a cross-sectional study. Principal component analysis was done to measure the socio-economic status (SES) of the adolescents’ families and the normalized concentration index (NCI) was used to measure the inequality in unhealthy snacks consumption among adolescent students of different SES. The contributions of environmental and individual explanatory variables to inequality were assessed by decomposing the concentration index.
Forty secondary schools of Kerman Province in Iran in 2015.
Eighth-grade adolescent students (n 1320).
The data of 1242 adolescent students were completed for the current study. Unhealthy snacks consumption was unequally distributed among adolescent students and was concentrated mainly among the high-SES adolescents (NCI = 0·179; 95 % CI 0·056, 0·119). The decomposition showed that higher SES (62 %) and receiving pocket money allowance (31 %), as environmental variables, had the highest positive contributions to the measured inequality in unhealthy snacks consumption. Taste and sensory perception (7 %) as well as cost sensitivity (5 %), as individual variables, followed them in terms of their contribution importance.
It is highly suggested that both environmental and individual factors should be addressed at different settings including schools, families and suppliers of unhealthy snacks. These findings can help future health promotion strategies in Iran to tackle the observed inequality in unhealthy snacks consumption.
Preterm birth is associated with an increased risk for cognitive-neurophysiological impairments and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whether the associations are due to the preterm birth insult per se, or due to other risk factors that characterise families with preterm-born children, is largely unknown.
We employed a within-sibling comparison design, using cognitive-performance and event-related potential (ERP) measures from 104 preterm-born adolescents and 104 of their term-born siblings. Analyses focused on ADHD symptoms and cognitive and ERP measures from a cued continuous performance test, an arrow flanker task and a reaction time task.
Within-sibling analyses showed that preterm birth was significantly associated with increased ADHD symptoms (β = 0.32, p = 0.01, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.58) and specific cognitive-ERP impairments, such as IQ (β = −0.20, p = 0.02, 95% CI −0.40 to −0.01), preparation-vigilance measures and measures of error processing (ranging from β = 0.71, −0.35). There was a negligible within-sibling association between preterm birth with executive control measures of inhibition (NoGo-P3, β = −0.07, p = 0.45, 95% CI −0.33 to 0.15) or verbal working memory (digit span backward, β = −0.05, p = 0.63, 95% CI −0.30 to 0.18).
Our results suggest that the relationship between preterm birth with ADHD symptoms and specific cognitive-neurophysiological impairments (IQ, preparation-vigilance and error processing) is independent of family-level risk and consistent with a causal inference. In contrast, our results suggest that previously observed associations between preterm birth with executive control processes of inhibition and working memory are instead linked to background characteristics of families with a preterm-born child rather than preterm birth insult per se. These findings suggest that interventions need to target both preterm-birth specific and family-level risk factors.
This paper presents the translation, adaptation and validation of a broadly used scale to measure emotion regulation strategies (i.e. The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire Children and Adolescents –ERQ-CA; Gullone & Taffe, 2012) in a sample of early adolescents. The 10-item scale was applied to a sample of 248 adolescents (128 boys) aged 13 to 14 years. Semi-confirmatory factor analysis supported the original two-factor structure: Cognitive Reappraisal and Expressive Suppression (SRMR = .05; RMSEA = .06; CFI = .96). These two factors demonstrate adequate internal consistency and evidence for convergent validity with other scales that refer to emotional intelligence, affect, and behavior. Thus, Cognitive Reappraisal scores were associated with higher self-perceived emotional abilities, positive affect and personal adjustment (ps < .05). Conversely, Expressive Suppression scores were associated with lower self-perceived emotional abilities, positive affect, and personal adjustment (ps < .01), with higher scores on negative affect, school and clinical maladjustment (ps < .01), as well as stress and depression symptoms (ps < .001). Overall, these findings suggest that the questionnaire may be a useful and reliable instrument for the assessment of emotion regulation strategies in early adolescents for future research in Spanish speaking countries.
The KIDMED questionnaire was published in 2004 to evaluate adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) in children and adolescents. In the last 14 years, several respected official dietetics and health organizations have recommended appropriate dietary habits, including eating whole grains and consuming whole fruit rather than fruit juice. We propose an update of the KIDMED questionnaire.
Based on the scientific evidence, the present commentary suggests some changes to the KIDMED questionnaire.
We suggest deleting ‘or fruit juice’ from the first question of the questionnaire, rewording the question as ‘Takes a fruit every day’, and assigning a positive value of +1. We suggest adding ‘whole-grain’ to the eighth question of the questionnaire, rewording the question as ‘Consumes whole-grain pasta or whole-grain rice almost every day (5 or more times per week)’, and assigning a positive value of +1. Further, we propose to add ‘whole cereals or whole grains’ to the ninth question of the questionnaire, reword the question as ‘Has whole cereals or whole grains (whole-meal bread, etc.) for breakfast’, and assign a positive value of +1.
The present commentary examines some signs of a paradigm shift about fruit juice and whole grains after the development of the KIDMED questionnaire. The changes are of paramount importance in order to make the questionnaire an updated tool to evaluate adherence to the MD.
In nineteenth-century British India, concern regarding large numbers of asylum patients with ‘Indian Hemp Insanity’ led to establishment of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission. The exotic cannabis plant was widely used in pharmacopeia and a source of government revenue. The Commission was tasked with determining the public health risks of cannabis use, particularly mental illness. This analysis of the Commission report seeks to highlight the status of 1892 cannabis research and compare it with current evidence for medical and recreational cannabis use.
Detailed historiographic review of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1892).
In 1892, heavy cannabis use was considered to have been associated with severe mental illness (7.3% of asylum patients; 12.6% of patients with diagnoses). About two-thirds were children and young adults with higher relapse rates. Risk increased with early cannabis use and a family history of mental illness. Cannabis psychosis was found to have a shorter trajectory and better prognosis than other mental illnesses in the asylums. Different cannabis potency and modes of consumption had different effects. Occasional cannabis use was felt to have medicinal benefits for some. Appendices provided symptoms and demographic characteristics of cannabis-induced mental illness.
This important nineteenth-century study observed frequency and dose-related effects of cannabis on mental health, particularly psychotic symptoms in young people with a previous or hereditary risk of mental illness. Pathophysiological observations were consistent with current knowledge. As one of the most systematic and detailed studies of the effects of cannabis of the time it foreshadowed contemporary cannabis issues.
To examine snacking patterns, food sources and nutrient profiles of snacks in low- and middle-income Chilean children and adolescents.
Cross-sectional. Dietary data were collected via 24 h food recalls. We determined the proportion of snackers, snacks per day and energy from top food and beverage groups consumed. We compared the nutrient profile (energy, sodium, total sugars and saturated fat) of snacks v. meals.
South-east region of Chile.
Children and adolescents from two cohorts: the Food Environment Chilean Cohort (n 958, 4–6 years old) and the Growth and Obesity Cohort Study (n 752, 12–14 years old).
With a mean of 2·30 (se 0·03) snacks consumed daily, 95·2 % of children and 89·9 % of adolescents reported at least one snacking event. Snacks contributed on average 1506 kJ/d (360 kcal/d) in snacking children and 2218 kJ/d (530 kcal/d) in snacking adolescents (29·0 and 27·4 % daily energy contribution, respectively). Grain-based desserts, salty snacks, other sweets and desserts, dairy foods and cereal-based foods contributed the most energy from snacks in the overall sample. For meals, cereal-based foods, dairy beverages, meat and meat substitutes, oils and fats, and fruits and vegetables were the top energy contributors.
Widespread snacking among Chilean youth provides over a quarter of their daily energy and includes foods generally considered high in energy, saturated fat, sodium and/or total sugars. Future research should explore whether snacking behaviours change as the result of Chile’s national regulations on food marketing, labelling and school environments.
To increase our understanding about food insecurity among urban adolescents, we conducted a qualitative study in Baltimore City with adolescents to: (i) explore how adolescents experience and cope with food insecurity; and (ii) identify community-based approaches or interventions for addressing food insecurity.
A total of eight focus groups were conducted across six neighbourhoods. To gather sociodemographic characteristics and personal data on food insecurity, all consented adolescents completed a brief questionnaire.
Six purposively selected neighbourhoods in Baltimore City, USA.
A total of fifty-three adolescents between the ages of 14 and 19 years participated in the study.
Although half of our sample was classified as food insecure, everyone in the focus groups was aware of adolescents who engaged in risky behaviours to get money for food. Among girls, prostituting was the most commonly mentioned behaviour, whereas for boys, it was selling drugs or stealing to get money for food. Adolescents also described tremendous stigma associated with food insecurity and agreed that food insecurity has to be viewed within a broader set of economic challenges.
Addressing food insecurity among adolescents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods should be a high priority for policy makers and practitioners. Current feeding programmes are not addressing the needs of adolescents; as a result, adolescents are at risk for a variety of harmful behaviours and outcomes, with long-term negative health and social consequences.
To better understand the maintenance of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a valid and reliable measure of cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms is required. Such a measure could also assess beliefs and coping behaviours in the context of fatigue in other somatic conditions.
We aimed to establish the psychometric properties of both the Cognitive and Behavioural Responses Questionnaire (CBRQ) and its shortened version (CBRQ-S) in adolescents with CFS.
The full questionnaire was completed by a clinical cohort of adolescents (n = 121) presenting to specialist CFS units in the UK.
Both the CBRQ and CBRQ-S had good internal consistency. The CBRQ scores were strongly associated with depression, anxiety, school and social functioning, but weakly associated with fatigue and physical functioning, providing evidence of validity.
Both the 40-item and the 18-item versions of the CBRQ were found to be reliable and valid in adolescents with CFS. To minimize unnecessary burden, the 18-item version is favoured. Using this assessment tool in future studies, including intervention studies, may help to better target interventions during clinical practice and improve outcomes.
Pertussis remains a public health concern in most countries. This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the distribution of pertussis toxin antibodies (anti-PT IgG) in Tunisian children and adolescents aged 3–18 years, to define optimal age for booster vaccination. Anti-PT IgG concentrations of enrolled participants were measured using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Concentrations were classified as: indicative of current/recent infection if ⩾100 IU/ml, indicative of recent exposure to Bordetella pertussis within the last year if 40–100 IU/ml and less likely revealing a recent exposure to B. pertussis if <40 IU/ml. Between March and June 2018, a total of 304 participants (mean age: 9.3 years) were included in this study. Overall, 12.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.1%–16.6%) were seropositive (IgG levels ⩾40 IU/ml). Among them, 14.7% (95% CI 2.3%–23.3%) had levels indicative of a current/recent infection. The multivariate Poisson regression analysis suggested associations between female gender, as well as age group 13–18 years and 3–5 years and higher anti-PT IgG concentrations. Our results are consistent with the notion that vaccine-induced immunity decline, as well as circulation of pertussis among school children and adolescents enables them to be reservoirs of infection and disease transmission to vulnerable infants. Booster dose of acellular pertussis vaccine for school entrants is therefore recommended.
Both vitamin D and Fe micronutrient deficiencies are common in Saudi Arabia but the association between them is unclear. The present study aimed to determine whether Fe indices are associated with vitamin D status and other metabolic markers in Arab adolescents.
Single-centre, cross-sectional study gathering anthropometrics, glucose and lipid profile. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), Fe, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation (%) and other parameters were measured.
Vitamin D School Project Database, King Saud University (2014–2016).
Arab adolescents aged 10–17 years randomly selected from the Vitamin D School Project Database (170 Saudi students; 100 girls, seventy boys).
Among Fe indices, only TIBC was found to be significantly and inversely associated with 25(OH)D (r = −0·20; P < 0·01) and only in girls (r = −0·20; P < 0·05). Among cardiometabolic parameters, serum Fe was associated with TAG in boys (r = 0·36; P < 0·01) and inversely associated with HDL-cholesterol in girls (r = −0·29; P < 0·05). Age was the most significant predictor of serum Fe for all participants, accounting for 5 % (R2 = 0·05; P = 0·004) of variance perceived. Serum 25(OH)D and age, on the other hand, were the most significant predictors for TIBC, accounting for 10·1 % (R2 = 0·10; P < 0·001) of variance perceived.
Among healthy Arab adolescents, the association between vitamin D and Fe indices, particularly TIBC, is modest, inverse and sex-dependent. Larger studies with inclusion of markers such as hepcidin and ferritin, vitamin D metabolites and endogenous sex hormones may provide a clearer view of this complex association.