Vitamin D deficiency linked to vertebral fractures in men with diabetes mellitus type 2

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By David Liu, PHD

Friday Oct 19, 2012(foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in Endocrinology suggests that vitamin d deficiency may increase risk of vertebral fractures in men but not in women with diabetes mellitus type 2.

Y. J. Kim of Kwandong University College of Medicine, Myongji Hospital in Koyang, Korea and colleagues conducted the study and found men with diabetes mellitus type 2 and less than 20 ng serum vitamin d/mL were at nearly 8 times as likely as those who had higher levels of vitamin D to suffer vertebral fractures.

Vitamin D is known to be an important factor for bone health.  Studies have already linked vitamin d deficiency to osteoporotic fractures although not all studies are consistent. The current study examined the possible association between vitamin d deficiency and risk of vertebral fractures in men and women with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

A total of 161 postmenopausal women and 180 men with diabetes mellitus type 2 participated in the cross-sectional study and their blood samples were analysed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D].  Participants were also examined using a lateral plain radiography of the thoracolumbar spine to see if they suffer vertebral fracture.

As a result, female patients had 31.3 ng 25(OH)D /mL whereas male patients had 41.3 ng/mL.  Vertebral fractures were found in 16 percent of all the diabetes mellitus type 2 patients.

The researchers found diabetic men with a serum 25(OH)D concentration greater than 30 ng/ml, 20 to 29.9 ng/mL or lower than 20 ng/mL had a chance of 9.4%, 17.9% or 27.8% to experience vertebral fractures, respectively.

A similar trends reflecting the association between serum vitamin D levels and prevalence of vertebral fractures was also found in women, but the association was considered insignificant.

In men the diabetes mellitus type 2, those who had less than 20 ng vitamin D/mL were at 687 percent increased risk of vertebral fractures, compared to those who had more than 30 ng/mL. The association was derived after adjustment for multiple confounding factors.

But the association was not observed in women.

The researchers concluded "In conclusion, serum 25(OH)D levels below 20 ng/ml were associated with an increased vertebral fracture risk in men with type 2 diabetes."

Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a serious chronic disease, which can lead to a more servere medical conditions. The disease, which has not cure, affects an estimated 26 million Americans.   

There are many things a person can do to prevent diabetes mellitus type 2 including curcumin and cinnamon supplementation.

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