A recent study published by the journal, Clinical Rheumatology, discovered that there was a very high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Indian individuals with subacute and chronic low back pain.
Researchers from this study explored the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in subacute low back pain (SLBP) patients and chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients from November of 2016 to January of 2017. They included a total of 250 CLBP patients, 177 SLBP patients and 248 individuals without any back pain.
Researchers measured back pain using the visual analog scale (VAS), with higher VAS scores indicating more severe back pain. Functional independence of CLBP and SLPB patients was assessed using the Modified Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (MODQ), with higher scores indicating increased disability. Additionally, vitamin D levels were assessed at baseline of the study.
This is what the researchers found:
- Average vitamin D levels among CLBP, SLBP and controls were 20.36 (±12.56), 21.42 (±13.20) and 20.84 (±6.93) ng/ml, respectively.
- Individuals with CLBP were 8.79 times more likely to have severe vitamin D deficiency (<16 ng/ml) than control patients (OR: 8.79; p< 0.001).
- Individuals with SLBP were 6.16 times more likely to have severe vitamin D deficiency than control patients ( OR: 6.16; p< 0.001).
- MODQ scores were inversely associated with vitamin D deficiency in CLBP patients but not SLBP patients (p=0.005).
The researchers concluded:
“…Categorical analysis of severity of deficiency showed that the cases had significantly higher number of subjects having increasingly severe forms of vitamin D deficiency (moderately severe and severe) while controls had significantly higher number of subjects with milder form of vitamin D deficiency (marginal)..”
“…Increasing severity of vitamin D deficiency appears to play a role in the pathogenesis of CLBP and SLBP.”