Objective: There is an ongoing interest in the relationship between vitamin D status and diabetes control and complications. However, data from Saudi Arabia are limited. To determine the impact of vitamin D status on glycemic control and cardiometabolic complications of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) attending a tertiary care diabetes clinic in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of 301 children and adolescent subjects with T1DM (53.5% females) of a mean age of 13.9 years attending King Abdulaziz Medical City-Jeddah during 2010-2013 were retrospectively collected. Relationships between vitamin D status and frequency of hypoglycemia, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and lipid profile were evaluated.
Results: The mean duration of diabetes was 7.7±3.7 years. Mean BMI value was 21.1±4.5 kg/m2 and HbA1c was 9.6±1.9% in both genders. Only 26.2% of the patients had a satisfactory HbA1c level. The mean level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was 35.15 and that of cholesterol was 4.75. Vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D≤37.5 nmol/L] was detected in 63.6% of the male and 67.7% of the female subjects. In males, it was inversely associated with frequency of hypoglycemia (p<0.01), BMI (p<0.05), diastolic blood pressure (p<0.05), and triglyceride levels (p<0.01), while in females, it was inversely associated with current age (p<0.05), age at diagnosis (p<0.01), and triglyceride levels (p<0.01). No significant correlation between HbA1c and vitamin D deficiency was observed.
Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in our study sample and was found to be associated with frequency of hypoglycemic episodes and with adverse cardiometabolic control.