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Low vitamin D associated with disease severity among patients with systemic lupus

Posted on: January 26, 2017   by  Vitamin D Council


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells in different tissues all over the body. Several studies have found that patients with SLE are much more likely to be diagnosed with low vitamin D levels than healthy patients. This study explored the role between vitamin D levels and the disease activity among patients with SLE.

A total of 199 patients between the ages of 26 and 48 years of age with diagnosed SLE and 150 healthy controls were included in the study. Researchers measured the patients disease severity using the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). All participants had their serum 25(OH)D levels measured.

This is what the researchers found:

  • Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly lower in SLE patients compared to healthy
  • A total of 142 SLE patients had vitamin D levels <30 ng/ml and 57 SLE patients had serum vitamin D concentrations >30 ng/ml
  • Vitamin D levels were inversely associated with disease activity in SLE patients (p=0.042)

The researchers concluded:

“We have demonstrated a very high frequency of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency among patients with SLE. In this clinical scenario, disease activity was associated with lower serum concentrations of 25(OH)D.”


Eloi, M. et al. 25-Hydroxivitamin D Serum Concentration, Not Free and Bioavailable Vitamin D, Is Associated with Disease Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients. PLOS one, 2017.

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