Vitamin D deficiency causes diabetics to die earlier

Vitamin D deficiency causes diabetics to die earlier

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Vitamin D deficiency is particularly dangerous for diabetics

Vitamin D deficiency causes an increased death rate, as a recent study by the Medical University of Vienna showed. Young and middle-aged people in particular are affected. The lack of vitamin D is particularly widespread in northern regions and should be compensated for by substitution.

As the specialist magazine “EurekAlert!” Reports, the new research results were presented at this year's annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Barcelona (Spain). The research was carried out by Dr. Rodrig Marculescu and colleagues at the Medical University of Vienna. The researchers analyzed the effects of low levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D in the blood on overall and cause-specific mortality in a large study cohort.

Vitamin D deficiency is common

Vitamin D deficiency is a common and easily correctable risk factor for early death. Numerous studies prove the connection with the increased mortality. However, much of this research to date has been based on the study of older populations, and the authors believe that many of the studies may have been affected by an increased rate of vitamin D supplementation in old age. In addition, they found: "Cause-specific deaths and the influence of age on the association of vitamin D with the risk of death have not yet been reported in detail."

The researchers used data from the records of all 78,581 patients (average age 51.0 years, 31.5% male), for whom a vitamin D (25D) measurement was carried out in the laboratory medicine department of the General Hospital in Vienna between 1991 and 2011 and compared them with the Austrian death register. The first three years of mortality after vitamin D measurement were excluded from the analysis and patients were followed up for up to 20 years with an average time of 10.5 years if possible.

According to the information, the authors used a blood level of vitamin D 50 nmol / l, a commonly used limit for vitamin D deficiency, as a reference value, with which low and high levels (10 nmol / l and 90 nmol / l) were compared, for which there is a risk. Vitamin D levels of 10 nmol / l or less were shown to be associated with a 2-3-fold increase in risk of death, with the greatest effect observed in patients aged 45 to 60 years (2.9-fold increased risk).

Values ​​of 90 nmol / l or more were associated with a 30-40% reduction in all-cause mortality, again with the greatest effect in the 45-60 age group (40 percent reduction in risk). No statistically significant correlation between vitamin D levels and mortality was observed in patients over 75 years of age.

Association particularly pronounced in diabetes

Regarding cause-specific mortality, the authors were surprised to find that the strongest associations of vitamin D with causes of death other than cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The differences between the age groups were even more pronounced for these causes of death, and the greatest effect was again found in patients aged 45 to 60 years.

A further subdivision of these non-cardiovascular and non-cancer-related causes of death revealed the greatest effect of vitamin for diabetes with a 4.4-fold higher risk of death due to the disease in the vitamin D deficiency group (less than or equal to 50 nmol / l).

Furthermore, the researchers report that their results indicate that concerns about the possible negative effects of vitamin D in the higher concentration range - as shown in previous studies - are rather unfounded.

The team concludes that their data confirm "a strong link between vitamin D deficiency (below 50 nmol / l) and increased mortality". "The association is most pronounced in younger and middle age groups and in causes of death other than cancer and cardiovascular diseases, especially diabetes."

The researchers believe that their results support widespread vitamin D supplementation to prevent premature mortality and "alleviate concerns about a possible negative effect at higher concentrations." (Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • EurekAlert !: New study reveals a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and increased mortality, especially diabetes-related deaths, (accessed: 25.09.12019), EurekAlert!

Video: What is Vitamin D Deficiency? (January 2023).