The Relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D Levels, Insulin Sensitivity and Insulin Secretion in Women 3 Years after Delivery

Can J Diabetes. 2017 Dec;41(6):621-627. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 May 3.


Objectives: There is a direct correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels and insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, women with gestational diabetes (GDM) may have lower levels of 25(OH)D compared to controls. The present study intended to investigate 25(OH)D levels and their association with insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion in women with prior GDM and in controls 3.2 years after delivery.

Methods: A total of 87 patients with prior GDM and 45 randomly selected controls (age range, 22 to 44 years) with normal glucose tolerance during pregnancy nested within a cohort of all deliveries at Saint Margit Hospital, Budapest, between January 1 2005, and December 31 2006, were examined. Their 25(OH) D levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Insulin sensitivity and fasting insulin secretion were estimated using the homeostasis model asssessment (HOMA) calculator and early insulin secretion by the insulinogenic index based on a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test.

Results: There was no significant difference in 25(OH)D levels between cases and controls (27.2±13.1 [±SD] vs. 26.9±9.8 ng/L). There was a positive association between HOMA insulin sensitivity and 25(OH)D levels (beta = 0.017; 95% CI 0.001 to 0.034/1 ng/mL) that was robust to adjustment for age and body mass index. There was a nonsignificant association between HOMA insulin secretion and 25(OH)D (p=0.099), while no association was found with the insulinogenic index.

Conclusions: Prior GDM status was not associated with 25(OH)D levels; however, 25(OH) D levels were associated with HOMA insulin sensitivity. It is hypothesized that the association between HOMA insulin secretion and 25(OH)D levels is related to the autoregulation of fasting glucose levels because no association between 25(OH)D and insulinogenic index was found.

Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamine D; HOMA insulin secretion; HOMA insulin sensitivity; avitaminose D; diabète gestationnel; gestational diabetes; sensibilité à l'insuline selon l'indice HOMA; sécrétion d'insuline selon l'indice HOMA; vitamin D deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / trends
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Postpartum Period / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D