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Br J Nutr. 2009 Aug;102(3):382-6. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509220824. Epub 2009 Feb 10.

Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its relationship with thyroid autoimmunity in Asian Indians: a community-based survey.

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Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


25-Hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency is linked with predisposition to autoimmune type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Our objective was to assess the relationship between serum 25(OH)D levels and thyroid autoimmunity. Subjects included students, teachers and staff aged 16-60 years (total 642, 244 males, 398 females). Serum free thyroxine, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TPOAb), intact parathyroid hormone and 25(OH)D were measured by electrochemiluminescence and RIA, respectively. Thyroid dysfunction was defined if (1) serum TSH > or = 5 microU/ml and TPOAb>34 IU/ml or (2) TSH > or = 10 microU/ml but normal TPOAb. The mean serum 25(OH)D of the study subjects was 17.5 (sd 10.2) nmol/l with 87 % having values < or = 25 nmol/l. TPOAb positivity was observed in 21 % of subjects. The relationship between 25(OH)D and TPOAb was assessed with and without controlling for age and showed significant inverse correlation (r - 0.08, P = 0.04) when adjusted for age. The prevalence of TPOAb and thyroid dysfunction were comparable between subjects stratified according to serum 25(OH)D into two groups either at cut-off of < or = 25 or >25 nmol/l or first and second tertiles. Serum 25(OH)D values show only weak inverse correlation with TPOAb titres. The presence of such weak association and narrow range of serum 25(OH)D did not allow us to interpret the present results in terms of quantitative cut-off values of serum 25(OH)D. Further studies in vitamin D-sufficient populations with wider range of serum 25(OH)D levels are required to substantiate the findings of the current study.

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