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Less fatigue if more vitamin D (90 percent of palliative cancer were deficient) – Aug 2015

Vitamin D deficiency and its association with fatigue and quality of life in advanced cancer patients under palliative care: A cross-sectional study

Palliat Med August 27, 2015 0269216315601954
Montserrat Martínez-Alonso 1, Adriana Dusso 2,3; Gemma Ariza 4; Maria Nabal 5
1Unit of Biostatistics and Methodological Support, IRBLLEIDA, Lleida, Spain
2Division of Experimental Nephrology, IRBLLEIDA, Lleida, Spain
3Bone and Mineral Research Unit, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain
4Rehabilitation Unit, Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
5Palliative Care Supportive Team, Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Montserrat Martínez-Alonso, Unit of Biostatistics and Methodological Support, IRBLLEIDA, C/Rovira Roure, 80, 25198 Lleida, Spain. Email: montserrat.martinez at cmb.udl.cat

Background: A normal vitamin D status is required for bones and muscles to maintain their function and structure, but it also contributes to the functional integrity of other multiple physiologic systems in the body.

Aim: To assess the relationship of Vitamin D deficiency with health-related quality-of-life issues, fatigue, and physical functioning in advanced cancer patients.

Design: This is a cross-sectional study.

Patients/settings: Adults under palliative care, having a locally advanced or metastatic or inoperable solid cancer.

Results: Among 30 patients in palliative care with advanced solid cancer, 90% were vitamin D deficient. Serum Vitamin D concentration was positively correlated with patient-reported absence of fatigue (s = 0.49), and physical and functional well-being (s = 0.44 and s = 0.41, respectively, p < 0.01). Fatigue was the symptom with the highest median impact on their lives and was the only one associated with serum vitamin D (p = 0.031), with lower fatigue in patients with vitamin D concentrations in the third tertile. There was no evidence of a direct association between health-related quality of life and vitamin D status.

Conclusion: The 90% frequency of advanced cancer patients with vitamin D deficiency, together with the positive correlation of vitamin D status with the absence of fatigue and improved physical and functional well-being, points to vitamin D supplementation as a potential therapy to enhance the patient’s quality of life.

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See also VitaminDWiki