A cross-sectional study of vitamin D levels in a large cohort of patients with rheumatic diseases
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ViittausNikiphorou Elena. Uksila Jaakko. Sokka Tuulikki. (2017). A cross-sectional study of vitamin D levels in a large cohort of patients with rheumatic diseases. CLINICAL RHEUMATOLOGY, [First Online: 07 November 2017], 10.1007/s10067-017-3870-8.
The objective of this study is to examine 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] (D-25) levels and associations with patient- and disease-related factors in rheumatic diseases. This is a register-based study of D-25 levels in adult patients seen at the Central Finland Hospital rheumatology clinic (January 2011–April 2015). Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) were collected as part of the normal infrastructure of the outpatient clinic and examined for their association with D-25 level. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics and univariable and multivariable regression analyses adjusting for age and gender. D-25 was measured in 3203 patients (age range 15–91 years, mean 54; 68% female) with diagnoses including RA (n = 1386), unspecified arthralgia/myalgia (n = 413), and connective tissues diseases (n = 213). The overall D-25 mean (SD) level was 78 (31) and median (IQR) 75 (55, 97). At baseline, 17.8% had D-25 deficiency, and only 1.6% severe deficiency (< 25 nmol/l); 34%/49% had sufficient/optimal D-25 levels. Higher D-25 levels were associated with older age, lower BMI, and regular exercise (all p < 0.001) among other factors. In multivariable analyses, younger age, non-white background, higher BMI, smoking, less frequent exercise (p < 0.001), and first visit to the clinic (p = 0.033) remained significantly associated with D-25 deficiency. Among those with sub-optimal D-25 levels, 64% had improved to sufficient/optimal levels after a median (IQR) of 13 (7.8, 22) months. The proportion of patients with D-25 deficiency in this study was generally low. Older patients had considerably higher D-25 levels compared to younger patients. Lower physical exercise and higher BMI were associated with higher risk of deficiency. The study supports the benefit of strategies to help minimize the risk of D-25 deficiency.