Vitamin D Deficiency in the Morbidly Obese

Obes Surg. 1993 Nov;3(4):421-424. doi: 10.1381/096089293765559142.


Although vitamin D deficiency has been well-documented following gastric bypass surgery, there are few studies of vitamin D status in the non-operative morbidly obese patient. We examined 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels in 60 morbidly obese pre-operative females; 62% of them had 25-OHD levels below normal range (16-74 ng/ml) which were not associated with reductions in serum calcium or phosphorus, liver or kidney dysfunction, and were not significantly correlated to patients' age. However, 25-OHD levels were significantly (p < 0.0001) and negatively correlated to body mass (r = -0.49). These data suggest that low vitamin D may be associated with obesity per se. Hypovitaminosis D, when it is found in post-bariatric surgery patients, may not be caused by the surgery since it may have been present to some degree pre-operatively.