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Low Vitamin D Level May Raise Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

In women, highest levels associated with about half the risk of lowest levels

FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Having a higher plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentration appears to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in women, independent of other risk factors, according to a study published in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

Anastassios G. Pittas, M.D., of Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues conducted a nested case-control study within the Nurses' Health Study to measure the association of baseline plasma 25-OHD concentration with risk of incident diabetes. The study included 608 women newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 559 controls.

After the researchers adjusted for diabetes risk factors, including body mass index (BMI), the odds ratio for incident type 2 diabetes in the highest (median 25-OHD, 33.4 ng/mL) versus the lowest (median 25-OHD, 14.4 ng/mL) quartile was 0.52. This association occurred across subgroups of baseline BMI, age, and calcium intake.

"In conclusion, our findings suggest that raising 25-OHD concentration may be an effective strategy at reducing risk of incident type 2 diabetes in women," the authors write. "Because observational studies of vitamin D have a high potential for confounding, our results need to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials specifically designed to test such a hypothesis."

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