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Maturitas. 2017 Jun;100:8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.02.016. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

Low vitamin D levels increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Medicine (DIMED), Geriatrics Division, University of Padova, Italy.
Institution for clinical Research and Education in Medicine (IREM), Padova, Italy; Department of Neurosciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
National Research Council, Neuroscience Institute, Aging Branch, Padova, Italy.
Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University,Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford CM1 1SQ, UK.
Department of Nutrition and Obesity, AP-HP, Maritime Hospital, F-62600 Berck, France.
Department of Nutrition and Obesity, AP-HP, Maritime Hospital, F-62600 Berck, France; Physiotherapy Department, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8AZ, United Kingdom; Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, Box SE5 8AF, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


Low serum levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) (hypovitaminosis D) is common in older adults and associated with several negative outcomes. The association between hypovitaminosis D and diabetes in older adults is equivocal, however. We conducted a meta-analysis investigating if hypovitaminosis D is associated with diabetes in prospective studies among older participants. Two investigators systematically searched major electronic databases, from inception until 10/07/2016. The cumulative incidence of diabetes among groups was estimated according to baseline serum 25OHD levels. Random effect models were used to assess the association between hypovitaminosis D and diabetes at follow-up. From 4268 non-duplicate hits, 9 studies were included; these followed 28,258 participants with a mean age of 67.7 years for a median of 7.7 years. Compared with higher levels of 25OHD, lower levels of 25OHD were associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes (6 studies; n=13,563; RR=1.31; 95% CI: 1.11-1.54; I2=37%). The findings remained significant after adjusting for a median of 11 potential confounders in all the studies available (9 studies; n=28,258; RR=1.17; 95% CI: 1.03-1.33; p=0.02; I2=0%). In conclusion, our data suggest that hypovitaminosis D is associated with an elevated risk of future diabetes in older people. Future longitudinal studies are required and should seek to confirm these findings and explore potential pathophysiological underpinnings.


Aged; Diabetes; Hypovitaminosis D; Meta-analysis; Vitamin D

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