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Pain Manag. 2015;5(6):447-53. doi: 10.2217/pmt.15.43. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Vitamin D status and pain sensitization in knee osteoarthritis: a critical review of the literature.

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University of Florida, College of Nursing, Biobehavioral Nursing Science, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
University of Florida, Pain Research & Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE), Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
University of Florida, College of Dentistry, Department of Community Dentistry & Behavioral Science, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Departments of Psychology & Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


Diagnostic imaging of disease severity has been found thus far to be a relatively modest predictor of knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain and disability, suggesting that other factors likely contribute to clinical symptoms in this condition. Recent evidence suggests that sensitization of the peripheral and central pathways that process nociceptive information (i.e., pain sensitization) is an important contributor to knee OA clinical symptoms. Furthermore, low levels of vitamin D have been found to be associated with the presence of pain sensitization, as well as the overall experience of clinical pain severity in knee OA. African-Americans with knee OA may be at increased risk for poor clinical outcomes given evidence of lower vitamin D levels as well as greater pain sensitization compared with non-Hispanic whites. Whether vitamin D supplementation is effective for alleviating knee OA clinical symptoms is an important topic to be addressed in future research with racially diverse samples that include sufficient numbers of African-Americans.


African–Americans; healthcare disparities; knee osteoarthritis; pain sensitization; vitamin D status

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Financial & competing interests disclosure This work was supported in part by NIH/NIA Grant R37AG033906-12. TL Glover received support from the John A Hartford Foundation (2011–2013) as a Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholar and a Mayday Fund grantee (grant number AAN 11-116). The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed. No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

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