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Br J Nutr. 2015 Jun 14;113(11):1732-40. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515000999. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with anaemia among African Americans in a US cohort.

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Nutrition and Health Sciences Program, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Laney Graduate School, Emory University,1462 Clifton Road, Suite 314,Atlanta,GA30322,USA.
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipids, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine,Mailstop 1930-001-1AA,Atlanta,GA30322,USA.
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine,Mailstop 1490-001-1AA,Atlanta,GA30322,USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Department of Medicine,Emory University School of Medicine,Mailstop 4900-001-1AA,Atlanta,GA30322,USA.


Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in the US population and is associated with numerous diseases, including those characterised by inflammatory processes. We aimed to investigate the link between vitamin D status and anaemia, hypothesising that lower vitamin D status would be associated with increased odds of anaemia, particularly anaemia with inflammation. A secondary aim was to examine the effects of race in the association between vitamin D status and anaemia. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis in a cohort of generally healthy adults in Atlanta, GA (n 638). Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between vitamin D status and anaemia. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) < 50 nmol/l (compared to 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/l) was associated with anaemia in bivariate analysis (OR 2·64, 95% CI 1·43, 4·86). There was significant effect modification by race (P= 0·003), such that blacks with 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l had increased odds of anaemia (OR 6·42, 95% CI 1·88, 21·99), v. blacks with 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/l, controlling for potential confounders; this association was not apparent in whites. When categorised by subtype of anaemia, blacks with 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l had significantly increased odds of anaemia with inflammation than blacks with serum 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/l (OR 8·42, 95% CI 1·96, 36·23); there was no association with anaemia without inflammation. In conclusion, serum 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l was significantly associated with anaemia, particularly anaemia with inflammation, among blacks in a generally healthy adult US cohort.


African Americans; Anaemia; Hb; Hepcidin; Inflammation; Vitamin D

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