Association of vitamin D status with knee pain and radiographic knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Nov;19(11):1301-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2011.07.017. Epub 2011 Aug 16.


Objective: The objective of the present study was to explore the association of serum vitamin D concentration and polymorphism in the vitamin D receptor (VDR), with knee pain and radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA) among men and women in a large population-based UK cohort study.

Methods: Seven hundred and eighty-seven participants in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study (399 men, 388 women; mean age 65.6±2.7 years) underwent a questionnaire on knee pain and radiographic knee examination. This study examined the association of Fok1, Cdx2 and Apa1 polymorphism in the gene for the VDR and serum 25(OH)D concentration with knee pain and radiographic knee OA by a generalized estimating equations population averaged logistic regression analysis in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study.

Results: There were no associations of Fok1, Cdx2 and Apa1 polymorphisms of the VDR with knee OA except for Aa for Apa1 compared with AA [Odds ratio (OR) 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.36-0.95, P=0.031]. While, ff for Fok1 (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.07-2.39, P=0.022) and AA for Cdx2 polymorphism (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.07-4.56, P=0.032) was significantly associated with higher prevalence of knee pain compared with FF for Fok1 and GG for Cdx2, respectively. None of these are statistically significant after adjusting for the three polymorphisms tested. 25(OH)D level was not significantly associated with radiographic knee OA, while, low tertile of 25(OH)D level tended to be associated with knee pain compared with high tertile of 25(OH)D level.

Conclusion: The present cross-sectional study using a large-scale population from the Hertfordshire Cohort study indicated that vitamin D may be associated with pain rather than radiographic change, but the evidence for an association between vitamin D genetic variation and pain in knee OA is very weak in the present study. Further replication of our results will be required to elucidate the association of vitamin D and knee OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / blood*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / genetics
  • Pain / blood*
  • Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Pain / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Radiography
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / genetics*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D