Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency in Chinese patients with vitiligo: a case-control study

PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52778. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052778. Epub 2012 Dec 27.


Background: Low vitamin D levels have been noted in patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases. A recent study showed that low vitamin D levels may be associated with vitiligo.

Objectives: To assess 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status in Chinese patients with vitiligo in comparison of normal controls and explore possible affecting factors.

Methods: We performed a case-control study including 171 patients, 50 controls in 25(OH)D lowest months and 30 patients, 20 controls in 25(OH)D highest months. Demographic and clinical variables of patients were analyzed to determine the correlation with 25(OH) D levels.

Results: 25(OH)D mean value of patients was highest in September and October, lowest in March. None of the patients and normal controls had 'sufficient' 25(OH)D (> = 75 nmol/L). No significant difference was found in either 25(OH)D mean values or insufficiency/deficiency ratio between patients and controls in 25(OH)D highest and lowest periods. Female patients were at a higher risk of 25(OH)D deficiency than male patients(P = 0.019). For non-segmental type, patients with 25(OH)D deficiency were more likely to have autoimmune thyroid disease than those with insufficiency (P = 0.016). Sex (P = 0.035), thyroid conditions (p = 0.034), testing month (p = 0.049) were independent factors affecting 25(OH)D level in multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Chinese population lack 25(OH)D universally. 25(OH)D level shows no correlation with onset of vitiligo in Chinese. However deficient 25(OH)D level may be linked to autoimmune disorders in patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency*
  • Vitiligo / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Grants and funding

The funder of the article was Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.