One in eight older adults are not getting enough vitamin D, a new study by researchers at Trinity College Dublin has found.

The research also discovered that vitamin D deficiency increases with age, with more than a third of people over the age of 80 experiencing the issue in winter, compared to just over a fifth of 50 to 59-year-olds.

The study also found that those who smoke, those who live alone and those from a lower socio-economic background more commonly experienced vitamin D deficiency.

The research was carried out by researchers from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin.

The data, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, shows that there are wide variations in vitamin D deficiency across the different provinces of Ireland and that these are dependent on lifestyle.

Vitamin D is very important for bone health and is thought to have beneficial health effects for muscle strength and non-skeletal health.

Currently in Ireland only some foods are fortified with vitamin D.

The researchers found that use of vitamin D supplementation was low with only 8.5% of the over-50 population taking vitamin D.

Women were more likely to use the supplements than men.