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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):40-6. Epub 2007 Nov 6.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and bone mineral density in a racially and ethnically diverse group of men.

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Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston, Massachusetts 02131, USA.



Although racial and ethnic differences in vitamin D status and bone mineral density (BMD) are recognized, less is known about how differences in vitamin D status impact BMD, especially among men.


Our objective was to examine the relation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and BMD by race and ethnic group.


We conducted a population-based, observational survey.


PARTICIPANTS included 1114 Black, Hispanic, and White men, 30-79 yr of age.


We assessed 25(OH)D by a competitive protein binding assay and BMD by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.


Mean age +/- SD of the 331 Black, 362 Hispanic, and 421 White men was 48 +/- 12.8 yr. Mean 25(OH)D was lower among Black (25.0 +/- 14.7 ng/ml) and Hispanic (32.9 +/- 13.9 ng/ml) men compared with White men (37.4 +/- 14.0 ng/ml, P < 0.01). A higher percentage of both Black (44%) and Hispanic (23%) men had levels of 25(OH)D in the lowest quartile, compared with 11% of White men (P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, height, and weight, only White men showed significant positive correlation between 25(OH)D and BMD (range of correlations, 0.00-0.14). Serum 25(OH)D was not associated with BMD in Black or Hispanic men at any bone site. Results were similar when adjusted for age only.


Our findings confirm substantial racial and ethnic group differences in BMD and serum 25(OH)D in men. Serum 25(OH)D and BMD are significantly related to one another in White men only. This may have implications for evaluation of bone health and supplementation in men with low levels of 25(OH)D. Further understanding of the biological mechanisms for these differences between race and ethnic groups is needed.

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