Relationship Between Vitamin D and Hyperglycemia in Older People From a Nationally Representative Population Survey

Authors

  • Vasant Hirani PhD

    Corresponding author
    • From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal Free and University College, London Medical School, University College London, London, United Kingdom
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  • [Editorial Comments by Hermes Florez and Bruce R. Troen, pp 000-0000]

Address correspondence to Dr. Vasant Hirani, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal Free and University College London Medical School, University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. E-mail: v.hirani@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate the association between vitamin D levels and hyperglycemia in a national community sample of older people.

Design

Cross-sectional, nationally representative sample.

Setting

Community.

Participants

Two thousand thirty-eight noninstitutitionalized adults aged 65 and older taking part in the Health Survey for England 2005.

Measurements

Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH) D) levels, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and covariates: age, sex, social class, season of examination, use of vitamin supplements, and physical health status.

Results

Hyperglycemia was independently associated with low vitamin D levels (odds ratio (OR) = 2.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.20–4.42 for 25(OH)D <25.0 nmol/L and OR = 2.09, 95% CI = 1.22–3.58 for 25(OH)D 25.0–49.9 nmol/L) but not for 25(OH)D between 50.0 and 74.9 nmol/L (OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 0.85–2.62).

Conclusion

The higher-than-expected co-occurrence of low vitamin D levels and hyperglycemia (HbA1c ≥ 6.5%) are important public health concerns for older populations living in northern latitudes because both are common, and both have substantial adverse health consequences. Ensuring adequate vitamin D levels may help reverse the increasing trend in the development of diabetes mellitus and related complications in older people.

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