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Individuals with low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop secondary diseases than those with higher levels

Posted on: December 13, 2017   by  Vitamin D Council


A study published in the journal, Osteoporosis International, discovered a higher prevalence of comorbidities in patients with lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients with higher levels.

In order to be included in the analysis, the participant’s must not have been admitted to the hospital for care. In addition, their vitamin D levels had to be above 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l) and below 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/l).

A total of 529 participants were included in the analysis. All individuals  were divided into two groups: group 1 had 25(OH)D ≥ 20 ng/ml and < 30 ng/ml (≥50 nmol/l and <75 nmol/l); and group 2 had 25(OH)D ≥30 and ≤ 50 ng/ml (≥75 nmol/l and <125 nmol/l). Medical records for all participants were evaluated and notable data, including the presence of comorbidities, were used for the analysis.

This is what the researchers found:

  • A total of 319 participants were placed into group 1 and 210 were placed into group 2.
  • The average number of comorbidities per individual were higher in group 1 than in group 2 (p < 0.001)
  • The most common comorbidities found in group 1 included: high blood pressure (56%), obesity (45%), dyslipidemia (45%), altered blood sugar levels(34%), osteoporosis (34%) and hypothyroidism.
  • The most common comorbidities found in group 2 were high blood pressure (55%), osteoporosis (50%), obesity (36%), dyslipidemia (36%), hypothyroidism (34%) and altered blood glucose levels (26%).
  • There was a higher prevalence of secondary hyperparathyroidism (p < 0.001), neurological and psychiatric diseases (p < 0.001), anemia (p < 0.001), joint disease(p = 0.006), urinary tract disease (p = 0.029) and dyslipidemia (p = 0.031) in group 1 compared to group 2.

The researchers concluded:

“Outpatients of a tertiary hospital with 25OHD ≥ 20 and < 30 ng/mL had higher prevalence of comorbidities compared to those with levels ≥ 30 and ≤ 50 ng/mL, suggesting that for this specific population 25OHD within the latter range would be more appropriate”


Furuie, I.N. et al. Two threshold levels of vitamin D and the prevalence of comorbidities in outpatients of a tertiary hospital. Osteoporosis International, 2017.

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