All scientific data collected by the Australian Antarctic program (AAp) are eventually described in the Catalogue of Australian Antarctic and Subantarctic Metadata (CAASM). CAASM can be used to search through AAp data descriptions, and it also provides links to access publicly available datasets, which can either be immediately downloaded or obtained from the Australian Antarctic Data Centre (AADC).
Vitamin D deficiency is detrimental to the skeleton resulting in accelerated bone loss, and reductions in bone mineral density (BMD). The main source of vitamin D in healthy people is that which they produce in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation eg. sunlight. During winter when there is less sunlight, less vitamin D is produced and bone loss increases. This seasonal change to bone is reversed once the skin is exposed to sunlight again. The longer a person is not exposed to sunlight, the greater the detrimental effect on bones. It is not known if prolonged periods of sun deprivation will permanently effect bone. Studying healthy adults during their time in Antarctica, when UV exposure is negligible provides valuable information about the effect of prolonged sun deprivation on bone. Following the expeditioners up on their return to a temperate climate will reveal if the detriment to bone is transient or permanent. Findings from this study may have applications beyond expeditioners to include elderly in aged care and space travel.
Baseline blood samples (as at 2004-06-30):
3 month blood samples:
6 month blood samples and diet records:
Access to this data, as it is medical in-confidence data, is restricted. For more information, contact the investigator, or the polar medicine section of the Australian Antarctic Division.
An information sheet on the project is available for download from the provided URL.
This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License
Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=ASAC_2505 when using these data.