Christine Dalgård, PHD1 – cdalgaard at health.sdu.dk
Maria Skaalum Petersen, PHD2,
Pal Weihe, MD1,2 and Philippe Grandjean, DMSC1,3 Diabetes Care
1Institute of Public Health, Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, JB Winslowsvej, Odense C, Denmark
2Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health, Faroese Hospital System, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark
3Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
OBJECTIVE Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be a risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes, and elderly subjects at northern latitudes may therefore be at particular risk.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Vitamin D status was assessed from serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) in 668 Faroese residents aged 70–74 years (64% of eligible population). We determined type 2 diabetes prevalence from past medical histories, fasting plasma concentrations of glucose, and/or glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
RESULTS We observed 70 (11%) new type 2 diabetic subjects, whereas 88 (13%) were previously diagnosed.
Having vitamin D status <50 nmol/L doubled the risk of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes after adjustment for BMI, sex, exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, serum triacylglyceride concentration, serum HDL concentration, smoking status, and month of blood sampling. Furthermore, the HbA1c concentration decreased at higher serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations independent of covariates.
CONCLUSIONS In elderly subjects, vitamin D sufficiency may provide protection against type 2 diabetes. Because the study is cross-sectional, intervention studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin D could be used to prevent development of type 2 diabetes.
Received November 3, 2010. Accepted March 22, 2011.
© 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.
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