Relationships between vitamin D, parathyroid hormone and bone mineral density in inflammatory bowel disease

J Intern Med. 1996 Feb;239(2):131-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2796.1996.420765000.x.


Objectives: To explore the relationships between vitamin D intake, serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (250HD) concentrations, and bone mineral density (BMD) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Setting: A university hospital clinic in Finland.

Subjects: One hundred and fifty randomly selected patients with IBD from the hospital register and 73 healthy controls.

Measurements: BMD of the lumbar spine and the proximal femur was measured with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Vitamin D intake and serum levels of 250HD and PTH were determined.

Results: The IBD patients had a lower serum 250HD concentration (28.4 [SD 12.0] nmol L-1) than the controls (36.1 [16.7] nmol L-1; P = 0.001), whereas no differences in the vitamin D intake or the serum PTH levels were found. The serum 250HD concentrations and the vitamin D intake of the patients with ulcerative colitis (n = 67) were similar to those of the Crohn's disease patients (n = 76). The patients with Crohn's disease of the small bowel had slightly, but not significantly, lower serum 250HD concentrations (25.6 [11.0] nmol L-1) than the other Crohn's disease patients (31.4 [14.3] nmol L-1; P = 0.061). In the IBD patients, the vitamin D intake and the serum 250HD and PTH concentrations were not associated with BMD.

Conclusions: Patients with IBD have lower serum levels of 250HD than healthy controls, but similar serum PTH concentrations and vitamin D intake. Vitamin D intake, and the serum levels of 250HD and PTH are not associated with BMD, and malabsorption is unlikely to be a major factor in the aetiology of bone loss in unselected IBD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / blood
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / physiopathology
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / blood*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / blood*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*


  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D