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Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(5):R123. doi: 10.1186/ar2533. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Vitamin D deficiency in undifferentiated connective tissue disease.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical Immunology, 3rd Department of Medicine, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, Moricz Zs, Str, 22, Debrecen, 4032, Hungary. zold_eva@yahoo.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Both experimental and clinical data provide evidence that vitamin D is one of those important environmental factors that can increase the prevalence of certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD).

METHODS:

Plasma 25(OH)D3 levels in 161 UCTD patients were measured in both summer and winter periods. Autoantibody profiles (antinuclear antibody, anti-U1-ribonucleoprotein, anti-SSA, anti-SSB, anti-Jo1, anti-Scl70, anti-double-stranded DNA, anti-centromere, anti-cardiolipin, rheumatoid factor, and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide) and clinical symptoms of the patients were assessed.

RESULTS:

Plasma levels of 25(OH)D3 in UCTD patients were significantly lower compared with controls in both summer and winter periods (UCTD summer: 33 +/- 13.4 ng/mL versus control: 39.9 +/- 11.7 ng/mL, P = 0.01; UCTD winter: 27.8 +/- 12.48 ng/mL versus control: 37.8 +/- 12.3 ng/mL, P = 0.0001). The presence of dermatological symptoms (photosensitivity, erythema, and chronic discoid rash) and pleuritis was associated with low levels of vitamin D. During the average follow-up period of 2.3 years, 35 out of 161 patients (21.7%) with UCTD further developed into well-established connective tissue disease (CTD). Patients who progressed into CTDs had lower vitamin D levels than those who remained in the UCTD stage (vitamin D levels: CTD: 14.7 +/- 6.45 ng/mL versus UCTD: 33.0 +/- 13.4 ng/mL, P = 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with UCTD, a seasonal variance in levels of 25(OH)D3 was identified and showed that these levels were significantly lower than in controls during the corresponding seasons. Our results suggest that vitamin D deficiency in UCTD patients may play a role in the subsequent progression into well-defined CTDs.

PMID:
18928561
PMCID:
PMC2592813
DOI:
10.1186/ar2533
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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