Inverse Association Between Vitamin D Status and Diabetes in a Clinic Based Sample of Hispanic Adults in Puerto Rico

Diabetes Res (Fairfax). 2015 Apr;1(1):5-11. doi: 10.17140/DROJ-1-102. Epub 2015 Jan 21.


Background: Vitamin D deficiency is a public health problem around the world. Diabetes has been associated with vitamin D deficiency. We aimed to examine the association between the vitamin D status and diabetes in a clinic based sample of Hispanic adults in Puerto Rico.

Methods: Demographics and laboratory test results for serum 25(OH)D, Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG), and Haemoglobin A1C (HbAlc) were extracted from medical records. Vitamin D status was classified as deficient (<12 ng/ml); inadequate (12-20 ng/ml); insufficient (21-29 ng/ml) and optimal (≥30 ng/ml) using serum 25(OH)D levels.

Results: A total of 716 records were included in the analyses. Most were females (63.3%), with mean age of 54.1±14.9 y, mean BMI 30.1±6.3 kg/m2 and mean serum 25(OH)D levels of 24.3±8.6 ng/ml. Most were classified as diabetics (41.1%). Those with diabetes had lower 25(OH)D levels compared to pre-diabetic and normal glucose status (p<0.05). Serum 25(OH) D levels were inversely correlated to FBG and HbA1c in the total sample and in men (p<0.05). After adjusting for age, gender, BMI and seasonality, there was a greater risk of diabetes, but not prediabetes, in those with serum 25(OH)D levels <30 ng/ml. This risk increased from 1.8 times in those with vitamin D insufficiency to 4.2 times in those with vitamin D deficiency (<12 ng/ml).

Conclusion: Diabetes risk significantly increased as serum 25(OH)D levels decreased in this group of Hispanic adults, underscoring the importance of routinely screening high risk individuals for vitamin D deficiency and offer supplementation to normalize serum levels.

Keywords: 25(OH)D levels; Diabetes; Glucose parameters; Vitamin D status.