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J Bone Miner Res. 2011 Oct;26(10):2378-88. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.449.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and clinical fracture risk in a multiethnic cohort of women: the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels have been linked to hip fracture in white women. To study the association of 25(OH)D with risk of fracture in multiethnic women, we performed a nested case-control study within the prospective Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study. Incident fractures were identified in 381 black, 192 Hispanic, 113 Asian, and 46 Native American women over an average of 8.6 years. A random sample of 400 white women who fractured was chosen. One control individual was selected per case and matched on age, race/ethnicity, and blood draw date. 25(OH)D, parathyroid hormone, and vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) were measured in fasting baseline serum. Conditional logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% CI. In multivariable models, higher 25(OH)D levels compared with levels less than 20 ng/mL were associated with a lower risk of fracture in white women (20 to <30 ng/mL: OR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.58-1.16; ≤30.0 ng/mL: OR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.35-0.90; p trend = 0.02). In contrast, higher 25(OH)D (≥20 ng/mL) compared with levels less than 20 ng/mL were associated with a higher risk of fracture in black women (OR = 1.45, 95% CI 1.06-1.98; p trend = 0.043). Higher 25(OH)D (≥30.0 ng/mL) was associated with higher fracture risk in Asian women after adjusting for DBP (OR = 2.78, 95% CI 0.99-7.80; p trend = 0.04). There was no association between 25(OH)D and fracture in Hispanic or Native American women. Our results suggest divergent associations between 25(OH)D and fracture by race/ethnicity. The optimal level of 25(OH)D for skeletal health may differ in white and black women.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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