Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in obese women: their clinical significance and relationship with anthropometric and body composition variables

J Endocrinol Invest. 2007 Sep;30(8):653-8. doi: 10.1007/BF03347445.


Obesity is associated with low concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D]. However, conflicting results have been found regarding the relationship of 25(OH) D with anthropometric and adiposity parameters. The aim of our study was to analyze the association between 25(OH) D and body fat (BF) in a homogeneous cohort of non-obese, obese, and morbidly obese Caucasian women. The study was performed in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, a city adjacent to Barcelona with a latitude of 41 degrees, 22 minutes, and 5 seconds north.

Materials and methods: Plasma concentrations of 25(OH) D were determined and body composition was evaluated by bioelectrical impedance in a group of 43 women with morbid obesity, 28 non-morbidly obese, and 50 non-obese women matched for age.

Results: Morbidly obese women showed lower 25(OH) D concentrations compared to non-morbidly and non-obese women (37.9+/-16 vs 40.2+/-13 vs 56.7+/-21 nmol/l, p=0.001). Fifty-one percent of morbidly obese women had vitamin D deficiency [25(OH) D<38 nmol/l] compared to 22% of non-obese patients, (p=0.004). In the bivariate correlation analysis 25(OH) D was inversely associated with weight (r=-0.41, p=0.001), body mass index (BMI) (r=-0.432, p=0.001), waist to hip ratio (WHR)(r=-0.40, p=0.001), BF (r=-0.53, p=0001), fat mass (r=-0.44, p=0.0001), fat-free mass (r=-0.35, p=0.001). In the multivariate general linear model analysis, 25(OH) D was associated with season of examination (p=0.001) and was negatively associated with BF (beta=-0.75, p=0.001), after adjusting for age, BMI, and WHR.

Conclusions: 25(OH) D concentrations are associated with body composition variables especially by BF, independently of seasonal variability. Therefore, body adiposity should be considered when assessing vitamin D requirements in obese patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / blood*
  • Obesity, Morbid / epidemiology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D