Adiposity in relation to vitamin D status and parathyroid hormone levels: a population-based study in older men and women

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;90(7):4119-23. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-0216. Epub 2005 Apr 26.


Objective: In small case-control studies, obesity was associated with worse vitamin D status. Our aim was to assess the association of adiposity (anthropometric measures as well as dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) and serum PTH levels in a large population-based study including older men and women.

Methods: Subjects were participants of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam and were aged 65 yr and older. In 453 participants, serum 25-OH-D and PTH were determined, and body mass index, waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, sum of skin folds, and total body fat percentage by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry were measured.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, higher body mass index, waist circumference, and sum of skin folds were statistically significantly associated with lower 25-OH-D (standardized beta values were -0.136, -0.137, and -0.140, respectively; all P < 0.05) and with higher PTH (0.166, 0.113, and 0.114, respectively; all P < 0.05). Total body fat percentage was more strongly associated with 25-OH-D and PTH (-0.261 and 0.287, respectively; both P < 0.001) compared with anthropometric measures. Total body fat percentage remained associated with 25-OH-D after adjustment for PTH, and with PTH after adjustment for 25-OH-D.

Conclusion: Precisely measured total body fat is inversely associated with 25-OH-D levels and is positively associated with PTH levels. The associations were weaker if anthropometric measures were used, indicating a specific role of adipose tissue. Regardless of the possible underlying mechanisms, it may be relevant to take adiposity into account when assessing vitamin D requirements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood*


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D