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Type 1 Diabetes probability reduced by 2X if have more than 40 ng of vitamin D – Feb 2013

Preclinical Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in a Cohort of US Military Personnel

American Journal of Epidemiology, 10.1093/aje/kws243
Kassandra L. Munger*, Lynn I. Levin, Jennifer Massa, Ronald Horst, Tihamer Orban and Alberto Ascherio
↵*Correspondence to Dr. Kassandra L. Munger, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Building 2, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail: kgorham at hsph.harvard.edu).
Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; CLIA, chemiluminescence immunoassay; GAD, glutamic acid decarboxylase; 25(OH)D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D; RIA radioimmunoassay; RR, rate ratio; T1D, type 1 diabetes.
Received March 13, 2012.; Accepted April 30, 2012.

To determine whether serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in young adults are associated with risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), we conducted a prospective, nested case-control study among US active-duty military personnel with serum in the US Department of Defense Serum Repository, identifying 310 T1D cases diagnosed between 1997 and 2009 with at least 2 serum samples collected before disease onset and 613 controls matched to cases on age, sex, race/ethnicity, branch of military service, and dates of serum collection. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Among non-Hispanic whites, those with average 25(OH)D levels of ≥100 nmol/L had a 44% lower risk of developing T1D than those with average 25(OH)D levels <75 nmol/L (rate ratio = 0.56, 95% confidence interval: 0.35, 0.90, P for trend = 0.03) over an average follow-up of 5.4 years. In quintile analyses, T1D risk was highest among individuals whose 25(OH)D levels were in the lowest 20% of those measured.

There was no association between 25(OH)D levels and risk of T1D among non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics.
Low 25(OH)D levels may predispose healthy, young, non-Hispanic white adults to the development of T1D.


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  • Adequate vitamin D levels during young adulthood may reduce risk of type 1 diabetes News Medical Net Feb 2013, reporting on this study
    About 5% of the estimated 25.8 million people in the United States with diabetes have type 1
    Although it often starts in childhood, about 60% of type 1 diabetes cases occur after age 20.
    The risk of type 1 diabetes appears to be increased even at vitamin D levels that are commonly regarded as normal, suggesting that a substantial proportion of the population could benefit from increased vitamin D intake, said Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH, the study's senior author.
  • Harvard Gazette was one of many other which also reported on the study
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