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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul;38(1):28-37. doi: 10.1111/apt.12341. Epub 2013 May 26.

The association between serological and dietary vitamin D levels and hepatitis C-related liver disease risk differs in African American and white males.

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  • 1Clinical Epidemiology and Outcomes Program, Houston VA, Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Vitamin D may affect the severity of HCV-related liver disease.


To examine the association between serum vitamin D levels and advanced liver disease in a multiethnic US cohort of HCV patients, and account for dietary and supplemental intake.


We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and used FibroSURE-ActiTest to assess hepatic pathology in a cohort of HCV-infected male veterans. We estimated and adjusted for daily intake of vitamin D from diet using a Dietary History Questionnaire, and dispensed prescriptions prior to study enrolment. We used race-stratified logistic regression analyses to evaluate the relationship between serum vitamin D levels and risk of advanced fibrosis (F3/F4-F4) and advanced inflammation (A2/A3-A3).


A total of 163 African American (AA) and 126 White non-Hispanics were studied. Overall, ~44% of AAs and 15% of Whites were vitamin D deficient (<12 ng/mL) or insufficient (12-19 ng/mL); 4% of AAs and 9% of White patients had an elevated level (>50 ng/mL). Among AAs, patients with elevated serum vitamin D levels had significantly higher odds of advanced fibrosis (OR = 12.91, P = 0.03) than those with normal levels. In contrast, AAs with insufficient or deficient levels had > two-fold excess risk of advanced inflammation (P = 0.06). Among White males there was no association between vitamin D levels and advanced fibrosis (F3/F4-F4) or inflammation (A2/A3-A3) risk.


We observed potential differences in the association between vitamin D levels and degree of HCV-related hepatic fibrosis between White and African American males. Additional research is necessary to confirm that high serum vitamin D levels may be associated with advanced fibrosis risk in African American males, and to evaluate whether racial differences exist in HCV-infected females.

© Published 2013. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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