Relationship between vitamin D deficiency and diabetic retinopathy: a meta-analysis

Can J Ophthalmol. 2017 Nov:52 Suppl 1:S39-S44. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2017.09.026.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the evidence for an association between diabetic retinopathy (DR) and vitamin D deficiency.

Design: Meta-analysis.

Methods: We included 14 observational studies with 10 007 participants who had undergone assessment for both DR and vitamin D deficiency. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were calculated using a random-effect, Mantel-Haenszel analysis.

Results: There was a statistically significant association between DR and vitamin D deficiency with an overall pooled OR of 1.27 (95% CI, 1.17-1.37; P = 0.001; I2 = 80%; Pheterogeneity = 0.01). There was also a statistically significant lower serum vitamin D level in patient subgroups with DR versus control groups, with an overall mean difference of -1.32 ng/mL (95% CI, -2.50 to -0.15; P = 0.001; I2 = 89%; Pheterogeneity = 0.01).

Conclusion: There is a statistically significant association between vitamin D deficiency and DR.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*


  • Vitamin D