Could Vitamin D be Associated with Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy? Evidence from Pooling Studies

Horm Metab Res. 2019 Nov;51(11):729-734. doi: 10.1055/a-1010-6449. Epub 2019 Nov 4.


Contrasting data about the association between proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and vitamin D status remain unknown. First, a hospital-based cross-sectional study consisting of 889 diabetic retinopathy (DR) and non-DR (NDR) patients was admitted. Further the accumulated evidence was performed to explore the association and dose-response relationship. Our study indicated that the odd ratio for PDR in vitamin D deficiency (VDD) individuals was significantly increased (1.60, 95% CI 1.06-2.42), compared with NDR in vitamin D sufficiency individuals, adjusted by age, sex, diabetic duration, and HbA1c. Four studies plus our study with data on vitamin D levels in 4970 patients with PDR and NDR subjects are compared. Association between vitamin D deficiency and risk of PDR exists (OR=1.69, 95% CI 1.40-2.05; I2=0%, p=0.61). Association between a nonlinear trend for vitamin D decrease with risk of DR was significant (chi2=16.53, p=0.0003). No significant heterogeneity in identified studies was found (goodness of fit chi2=2.98, p=0.225). It is concluded that vitamin D deficiency is significantly associated with risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / blood
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamins / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D