FRIDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women with higher levels of vitamin D are at lower risk of developing pelvic floor disorders, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Samuel S. Badalian, M.D., and Paula F. Rosenbaum, Ph.D., of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., used the 2005 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to analyze data on pelvic floor disorders and vitamin D levels among 1,881 women who were aged 20 and above and who were not pregnant. The study controlled for known risk factors for pelvic floor disorders.
In all, 23 percent of the participants reported at least one pelvic floor disorder, and these women had significantly lower mean vitamin D levels. Women reporting urinary incontinence, regardless of age, also had lower mean vitamin D levels, the investigators found. As vitamin D levels increased, the risk of pelvic floor disorders decreased. The association was found among all women 20 years and older and among a subset of women aged 50 and above, the data revealed.
"Given the increase in the number of patients with pelvic floor disorders, further evaluation of the role of vitamin D is warranted," the authors write. "Treatment of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women could improve pelvic muscle strength, with a possible reduction in the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders including urinary incontinence."