S-25OHD Is Associated With Hand Grip Strength and Myopathy at 5 Years in Girls: An Odense Child Cohort Study

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Jul 1;103(7):2630-2639. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-00281.


Context: Severe vitamin D deficiency may lead to myopathy in adults. Little is known about vitamin D and muscle strength in children.

Objective: To test whether hand grip strength (HGS) in 5-year-old children is associated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25OHD).

Design: Observational study in the population-based Odense Child Cohort, Denmark. At 5 years, anthropometrics, body fat percentage by skinfold measurements, HGS (n = 881), and S-25OHD2+3 (n = 499) were obtained.

Results: Mean (SD) HGS was higher for boys compared with girls [8.76 (1.76) vs 8.1 (1.64) kg, P < 0.001]. Mean (SD) 5-year S-25OHD was 70.7 (24.5) nmol/L. HGS was directly associated with height in girls and with weight (directly) and body fat percentage (inversely) in both sexes (P < 0.01 for all). In girls, 5-year S-25OHD was associated with HGS, adjusting for height, weight, and body fat percentage [β = 0.011 (95% CI: 0.004; 0.019), P = 0.003]. S-25OHD ≥75 nmol/L was associated with higher HGS compared with values <50 nmol/L [adjusted β = 0.783 (95% CI: 0.325; 1.241), P = 0.001]. The odds of having myopathy (HGS <10th percentile) were reduced by approximately 70% for S-25OHD ≥50 vs <50 nmol/L [adjusted OR: 0.310 (95% CI: 0.126; 0.762), P = 0.011]. No associations were seen for boys. Pregnancy or umbilical cord S-25OHD did not associate with 5-year HGS.

Conclusions: Five-year S-25OHD was independently associated with HGS and myopathy in girls but not in boys. Muscle strength may be dependent on vitamin D status even in the higher range in preschool girls. The sex difference remains unexplained.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Diseases / blood
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Sex Factors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D