Vitamin D profile of patients with spinal cord injury and post-stroke hemiplegia: All in the same boat

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2016 Apr 27;29(2):205-210. doi: 10.3233/BMR-150615.


Background: Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and hemiplegia are at risk of fractures partly due to decreased bone mineral density with relation to the low levels of vitamin D.

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the vitamin D profile of patients with SCI and post-stroke hemiplegia.

Methods: 25(OH)D levels of patients with SCI and hemiplegia were obtained from the electronic medical record database and compared with age- and sex-matched non-disabled controls. Furthermore, the effect of Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) level and Brunnstrom's recovery stage, on vitamin D insufficiency, was studied.

Results: The study sample consisted of 173 individuals (118 patients and 55 controls). Vitamin D levels and sufficiency rates of the neurologically disabled patients was significantly lower than that of controls (p= 0.000 and p= 0.000, respectively). However, there was no difference between patients with SCI and hemiplegia regarding the 25(OH)D levels and vitamin D insufficiency (p= 0.303 and p= 0.952, respectively). There were no statistically significant differences in vitamin D status by American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) level and Brunnstrom's score. However, regression analysis revealed that vitamin D insufficiency rate of non-functionally ambulatory (FAC = 0-2) patients was higher than that of functionally ambulatory (FAC = 3-5) ones (p= 0.044).

Conclusions: Vitamin D status of patients with neurological disabilities was lower than that of controls. Non-functionally ambulatory patients had higher vitamin D insufficiency rate than functionally ambulatory patients. Preventative measures including adequate supplementation of vitamin D should be directed to neurologically disabled subjects, particularly those with non-functional ambulation.

Keywords: Hemiplegia; neurological disorders; spinal cord injury; vitamin D; vitamin D insufficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Hemiplegia / blood*
  • Hemiplegia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / blood*
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D