Low vitamin D and poor control of diabetes linked in study

Wed, 23 Jun 2010
As well as being highly prevalent in patients with type 2 diabetes, a deficiency in vitamin D levels may also be associated with poor blood sugar control, a new study has revealed.

The research examined the medical charts of 124 patients with type 2 diabetes aged between 36 and 89 years of age. The patients had visited an endocrine outpatient clinic for specialty care between 2003 and 2008, and all had a single measurement of their serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels as part of their evaluation at the clinic.

However, although the patients received regular primary care visits before their referral to the endocrine clinic, 91 per cent of them were found to have either vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Only about 6 per cent of patients were taking vitamin D supplements at their first visit.

The research also pinpointed an inverse relationship between the patients' blood levels of vitamin D and their hemoglobin A1c value, a measure of blood sugar control over the previous few months. In addition, lower vitamin D levels were found in patients with higher average blood sugars as measured by HbA1c.

Esther Krug, a co-author of the study, said "This finding supports an active role of vitamin D in the development of type 2 diabetes."

She added that, "Since primary care providers diagnose and treat most patients with type 2 diabetes, screening and vitamin D supplementation as part of routine primary care may improve health outcomes of this highly prevalent condition."
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