Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin-D and risk of colorectal adenomas and hyperplastic polyps

Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(3):319-26. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.535960.


Colorectal adenomas are clear precursors of cancer; hyperplastic polyps may also have malignant potential. An inverse association between circulating vitamin D metabolites and adenoma risk has been reported, but less is known about vitamin D and hyperplastic polyps. We conducted a case-control study of adenomas and hyperplastic polyps among 459 members of an integrated health plan evaluated via colonoscopy. Questionnaires provided information on colorectal polyp risk factors, and plasma samples were assayed for 25-hydroxyvitamin-D [25(OH)D]. Polytomous regression was used to estimate odds ratios for adenomas (n = 149) and hyperplastic polyps (n = 85) compared to polyp-free controls (n = 225) by tertile of 25(OH)D. An inverse association between 25(OH)D and adenomas was suggested after adjustment for potential confounding factors [comparing upper to lower tertiles, OR (95%CI): 0.71 (0.38-1.30)]. After restriction of the analyses to study participants with no history of polyps, this OR estimate was reduced further [adjusted OR (95%CI): 0.52 (0.23-1.20)]. In comparison, no inverse association between hyperplastic polyps and 25(OH)D was observed among the full study participants [adjusted OR (95%CI): 1.17 (0.55-2.51)] or among those without prior polyps [adjusted OR (95%CI): 1.42 (0.55-3.65)]. Our study suggests that the established inverse association between circulating 25(OH)D and adenoma may not apply to hyperplastic polyps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / etiology*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colonic Polyps / etiology*
  • Colonic Polyps / pathology
  • Colonic Polyps / prevention & control
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D