The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D has been recently reevaluated, and diabetes is considered as a risk factor for osteoporosis. We studied the association of the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D with the clinical features of diabetes. We conducted the observational study in 581 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 51 normal subjects, and analyzed the relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentration and the clinical features associated with type 2 diabetes. Mean serum 25-OHD concentration in type 2 diabetes patients was 17.0 +/- 7.1 ng/ml (Mean +/- SD) in winter, and was not statistically different from normal population (17.5 +/- 3.6 ng/ml). The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D (<20 ng/ml) was 70.6%. Serum concentrations of 25-OHD were associated with HbA1c (P = 0.013), age (P = 0.070) and serum albumin (P < 0.001), but were not related to BMI or the duration of diabetes. The levels of 25-OHD were significantly lower in the population with apparent microvascular complications, although serum creatinine levels were below 2.0 mg/dl. Serum 25-OHD concentrations in the group treated with insulin (15.4 +/- 6.5 ng/ml) was lower than those in the patients treated with diet alone (20.8 +/- 7.6 ng/ml) and with oral hypoglycemic agents (17.3 +/- 7.0 ng/ml). Furthermore, the highest incidence of osteoporotic fracture and/or back deformity was observed in insulin-treated patients with hypovitaminosis D. In conclusion, these results suggest that microvascular complications and insulin treatment in type 2 diabetes patients are associated with the co-existence of hypovitaminosis D, and that hypovitaminosis D in insulin-treated patients is possibly related to the risk of osteoporotic fracture.