Background: Low serum levels of vitamin D, measured as serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (S-25-OHD), have been observed in several cancers.
Methods: Sixty-five adult patients with head and neck cancer, 50 men, median age 61 years (range, 33-77 years), were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Concentrations of S-25-OHD and plasma calcium (Ca) and phosphate (Pi) were measured before cancer treatment.
Results: The mean S-25-OHD was 42.0 (SD 22) nmol/L. Hypovitaminosis D (37.5-50 nmol/L) was found in 20% of the patients and vitamin D deficiency (<37.5 nmol/L) in 45% of the patients. No seasonal variation was seen. Subnormal plasma Ca and Pi levels were found in 11% and 9% of the patients, respectively.
Conclusion: Subnormal vitamin D levels were found in a significant proportion of the patients. Because vitamin D deficiency may pose these patients to increased risk of therapy-related morbidity, special attention should be paid to correction of this nutritional deficiency.
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