Objective: Because it has been reported that vitamin D, given to mother or infant, can prevent type I diabetes in children, that diabetes is more common in adults with low serum vitamin D and that insulin secretion and action are related to vitamin D levels in healthy young adults we examined the relationship between serum vitamin D metabolites and fasting serum glucose in patients attending our outpatient clinics.
Design: Retrospective examination of convenience sample of postmenopausal women attending our osteoporosis clinics.
Patients: A total of 753 postmenopausal women attending a university hospital outpatient clinic and not on any treatment known to affect glucose metabolism.
Measurements: Body weight and height, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], serum PTH and fasting serum glucose.
Results: On simple correlation fasting serum glucose was a positive function of age (P < 0.05), weight (P < 0.001) and body mass index (BMI) (P < 0.001) and a negative function of serum 25(OH)D (P < 0.001), but it was not significantly related to either serum 1,25(OH)2D, PTH or creatinine. When fasting serum glucose was regressed simultaneously on age, BMI and 25(OH)D, glucose was still an inverse function of 25(OH)D (P = 0.006).
Conclusions: Fasting serum glucose increased as 25(OH)D levels fell throughout the range of serum 25(OH)D measured but the greatest increase was observed in those with 25(OH)D below 40 nmol/l.