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Very low vitamin D associated with RA in women – Nov 2010

25-Hydroxyvitamin D concentration, vitamin D intake and joint symptoms in postmenopausal women.

Maturitas. 2010 Nov 17.
Chlebowski RT, Johnson KC, Lane D, Pettinger M, Kooperberg CL, Wactawski-Wende J, Rohan T, O'Sullivan MJ, Yasmeen S, Hiatt RA, Shikany JM, Vitolins M, Khandekar J, Hubbell FA.
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, United States.

INTRODUCTION: Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D) concentrations have been associated with radiologic worsening of osteoarthritis in some reports. However, the results are mixed and few studies have evaluated associations between 25(OH) D concentrations and both total vitamin D intake and clinical joint symptoms.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analyses of information from a subset of 1993 postmenopausal women obtained at baseline entry in the Women's Health Initiative Calcium plus Vitamin D clinical trial.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 25(OH) D concentration, total vitamin D intake (diet plus supplements), presence and severity of joint pain and joint swelling.

RESULTS: The 25(OH) D levels were commonly low with 53% having deficient (<50nmol/L) and only 17% having sufficient (>72nmol/L) levels. Joint pain (reported by 74%) and joint swelling (reported by 34%) were also commonly reported. 25(OH) D concentrations were modestly correlated with total vitamin D intake (R=0.29, p<0.0001); however, considerable variability in 25(OH) D concentrations for a given vitamin D intake was seen. In adjusted linear regression models, lower serum 25(OH) D concentrations were associated with higher average joint pain score (P=0.01 for trend) with differences most apparent in the lowest 25(OH) D levels sextile.

CONCLUSIONS: Relatively low 25(OH) D levels and a high frequency of joint symptoms were common in this population of postmenopausal women. Total vitamin D intake was only modestly associated with 25(OH) D. Low serum 25(OH) D concentrations were associated with higher joint pain scores. These findings can inform the design of future intervention trials.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. PMID: 21093181
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Vitamin D intake not associated with serum level?

  1. Perhaps not enough vitamin D taken in to make a difference - no data
  2. Perhaps RA consumes vitamin D - a vicious cycle has not been identified for RA that we are aware of

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