Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a single center experience

Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Mar;23(1):21-27. doi: 10.6065/apem.2018.23.1.21. Epub 2018 Mar 22.


Purpose: Low vitamin D level is common in adults with diabetes mellitus (DM). We assessed vitamin D level and its associated factors in Korean youth with type 1 DM.

Methods: Type 1 DM cases (n=85) and healthy controls (n=518) aged <20 years were included and grouped into 3 categories according to vitamin D level: deficiency (<20 ng/mL), insufficiency (20-30 ng/mL), or sufficiency (≥30 ng/mL).

Results: The mean serum vitamin D level was significantly lower (21.6±8.5 ng/mL vs. 28.0±12.0 ng/mL, P<0.001) and vitamin D deficiency prevalence was significantly higher (48% vs. 26%, P<0.001) in type 1 DM cases than in healthy controls. Logistic regression analysis revealed that type 1 DM cases were more likely to have vitamin D deficiency (P=0.004), independent of sex, age, and body mass index. Type 1 DM cases with vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency were mainly diagnosed in winter (November to April) (P=0.005), and the duration of diabetes was longer than in those with vitamin D sufficiency (P=0.046). However, season of diagnosis, duration of diabetes, prescribed daily insulin dose, and glycosylated hemoglobin and C-peptide levels were not associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level in type 1 DM cases after adjustment for other factors.

Conclusions: We recommend assessment of serum 25(OH)D level in type 1 DM cases and to treatment if findings indicate insufficiency. Further studies investigating the mechanisms underlying vitamin D deficiency in youth with type 1 DM are needed.

Keywords: Case-control studies; Child; Diabetes mellitus; Type 1; Vitamin D deficiency.