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Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Feb;62(2):511-4. doi: 10.1002/art.27241.

Association of 25-hydroxyvitamin D with prevalent osteoarthritis of the hip in elderly men: the osteoporotic fractures in men study.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.



To examine the cross-sectional association of serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, with prevalent radiographic hip osteoarthritis (OA) in elderly men.


In a cohort of 1,104 elderly men from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study, 25(OH)D serum levels were determined by mass spectrometry, followed by pelvic radiographs approximately 4.6 years later. Categories of vitamin D levels were defined as follows: deficiency as < or =15 ng/ml, insufficiency as 15.1-30 ng/ml, and sufficiency as >30 ng/ml. Radiographs were assessed for severity of hip OA using a summary grade of 0-4 for individual features of hip OA. Logistic regression was used to assess associations of serum 25(OH)D levels with prevalent radiographic hip OA; covariates included age, clinic site, season at the time of blood withdrawal, self-reported hip pain for >30 days, timed 6-meter walk, presence of at least 1 coexisting condition, and self-rated health status.


Men with radiographic hip OA had a slower 6-meter walking time (P < 0.0001), reported more hip pain (P = 0.0001), had a lower vitamin D level (P = 0.0002), and had a higher prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (P = 0.002) and vitamin D deficiency (P = 0.012) compared with controls. Higher 25(OH)D levels were associated with a lower prevalence of radiographic hip OA (odds ratio [OR] 1.39 per 1 SD decrease in 25[OH]D, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.11-1.74) after adjusting for age, season, and clinic site. Men with vitamin D insufficiency had an increased likelihood of prevalent radiographic hip OA (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.21-3.97) compared with men with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D, and in men with vitamin D deficiency, there was a tendency toward an increased likelihood of radiographic hip OA (OR 1.99, 95% CI 0.83-4.74).


Men with vitamin D deficiencies are twice as likely to have prevalent radiographic hip OA, and therefore vitamin D therapy to augment skeletal health in the elderly is warranted.

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