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Insufficient vitamin D supply may impair quality of life for premenopausal women

May 29, 2013

A new study from Turkey states that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency may be more common in premenopausal women than previously thought and may decrease their quality of life.

The observational study measured quality of life (QoL) parameters (based on a questionnaire) and blood parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations of 80 premenopausal women with weakness, fatigue and nonspecific pain who had deficient blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (below 20 ng/ml), insufficient (21–29 ng/ml) or sufficient (above 30 ng/ml) levels (1). The study results showed that participants with deficient and insufficient 25(OH)D levels had increased PTH concentrations and lower scores of physical functioning and vitality when compared to those with sufficient vitamin D levels. Most QoL parameters showed a significant difference when vitamin D insufficient and sufficient participants were compared.
Some of the scales of the QoL-test and serum 25(OH)D, but not PTH levels, were correlated.

The researchers concluded that some components of QoL seem to be affected not only in premenopausal women with vitamin D deficiency but also with insufficiency and impairment may be related to vitamin D rather than PTH levels. Vitamin D insufficiency is common and is defined as a lower than normal vitamin D level that has no visible signs or symptoms. However, vitamin D insufficiency is associated with reduced bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis), mild reduction of the blood calcium level, elevated parathyroid hormone (which accelerates bone resorption), increased risk of falls and possibly fractures – all of which can seriously affect a person’s quality of life. The scientists emphasized that identifying and treating vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency is important to maintain bone strength and may even improve the health of other body systems, such as the immune, muscular and cardiovascular systems.

References

  1. Ecemis G. C. and Atmaca A. Quality of life is impaired not only in vitamin D deficient but also in vitamin D insufficient premenopausal women. J Endocrinol Invest. Published online May 2013.