Vitamin D deficiency in patients with chronic hepatitis D viral infection

Clin Exp Hepatol. 2021 Jun;7(2):141-148. doi: 10.5114/ceh.2021.106505. Epub 2021 May 28.


Aim of the study: Vitamin D deficiency is known to be associated with disease severity, unresponsiveness to treatment, and morbidity among patients with chronic viral hepatitis B and C, autoimmune hepatitis, and alcoholic hepatitis. This study aims to research vitamin D levels in patients suffering from cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic phases of hepatitis D.

Material and methods: 170 individuals in total were included in the study in the form of two groups: the first group of 100 patients with chronic hepatitis D (CHD), 30 of whom had cirrhosis, and the second control group of 70 individuals with similar characteristics to those of the first group in terms of age, type, and seasonal sampling. Levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] were measured in the serum collected from patients and the control group.

Results: The lowest 25(OH)D levels were identified in patients with cirrhotic CHD. When these levels were compared with those of the control group, they were found to be significant (15.30 ±6.92 and 18.90 ±8.30 ng/ml, respectively, p = 0.04). 25(OH)D deficiency (< 10 ng/ml) was detected at significantly higher rates in patients with both cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic CHD compared to the healthy controls (30%, 25%, and 8.5%, respectively, p = 0.01). A significant correlation was established between 25(OH)D levels and bilirubin in patients with CHD (r = 0.252, p = 0.012). Multivariate analysis showed that chronic hepatitis D (odds ratio [OR] = 3.608, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31-9.89, p = 0.013) and age (OR = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00-1.08, p = 0.033) were associated with vitamin D deficiency.

Conclusions: Frequency of 25(OH)D vitamin deficiency is higher in patients with CHD. The identification of vitamin D levels and the replacement of any deficiency may create a positive effect on disease progression, morbidity, and mortality levels.

Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D2; hepatitis delta virus; liver cirrhosis.