Vitamin D May be Linked to Poor Diabetes Control
JUNE 2010—Low levels of vitamin D are common in people with type 2 diabetes—and has been linked with inadequate blood sugar control according to a recent study.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reviewed records of 124 people with diabetes whose vitamin D levels had been measured at an outpatient endocrinology clinic between 2003 and 2008.
Despite receiving regular medical care, 91% of the patients showed vitamin D levels that were either deficient (blood levels below 15 ng/dL) or insufficient (levels between 15 and 31 ng/dL). Only 6% of the patients were taking vitamin D supplements.
The study team also found an association between low levels of D and higher levels of hemoglobin A1c, a marker for blood sugar control over several months’ time. Higher Alc levels indicate poor blood sugar control.
“This finding supports an active role of vitamin D in the development of type 2 diabetes,” says the team’s report, given at this month’s Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego. “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.”