In the Journals

Low vitamin D levels linked to higher total body fat

In older adults without cardiometabolic disease, low levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D are associated with higher total body fat percentage, according to recent study findings.

Anna Vitezova, MSc, a PhD student in the department of epidemiology at Erasmus Medical Center, University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,158 adults aged at least 45 years participating in the first cohort of the ongoing, prospective, population-based Rotterdam study (mean age, 71 years; 66.7% women). The cohort underwent home interviews and baseline measurements between 1990 and 1993, with follow-up visits every 2 to 3 years. Serum 25-(OH)D concentrations, height, weight, and waist and hip circumference were measured between 1997 and 1999. Body composition measurements via DXA were taken between 2002 and 2004.

Within the cohort, 19% had adequate vitamin D status, which was a serum 25-(OH)D of at least 75 nmol/L, 29% had vitamin D insufficiency (50-75 nmol/L) and 52% had vitamin D deficiency (< 50 nmol/L). Vitamin D-deficient participants had a mean 1.29-unit higher body fat percentage vs. those with adequate vitamin D status (95% CI, 0.55-2.04), but researchers observed no between-group differences for lean mass (0.24-unit lower body fat percentage; 95% CI, –0.33 to 0.35).

Researchers found that lower 25-(OH)D concentration was associated with higher total body fat percentage in participants without cardiometabolic disease (beta = 1.7; 95% CI, 0.87-2.53). Each 10-unit increase in serum 25-(OH)D was associated with a 0.03-unit decrease in android fat (beta = –0.03; 95% CI, –0.06 to –0.01), but results did not persist after adjustment for BMI. The relationship between 25-(OH)D and the ratio of android to gynoid fat also was explained by BMI.

“We found an association between 25-(OH)D and total fat percentage only in subjects free of cardiometabolic disease,” the researchers wrote. “In contrast, we only found a significant association between 25-(OH)D and BMI in those with a metabolic syndrome, suggesting that a complex interaction between 25-(OH)D, body composition and cardiometabolic disease may exist, and it needs further elucidation.”

In sensitivity analysis, researchers found no between-sex differences for 25-(OH)D and body composition (P = .051 for interaction). – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

In older adults without cardiometabolic disease, low levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D are associated with higher total body fat percentage, according to recent study findings.

Anna Vitezova, MSc, a PhD student in the department of epidemiology at Erasmus Medical Center, University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,158 adults aged at least 45 years participating in the first cohort of the ongoing, prospective, population-based Rotterdam study (mean age, 71 years; 66.7% women). The cohort underwent home interviews and baseline measurements between 1990 and 1993, with follow-up visits every 2 to 3 years. Serum 25-(OH)D concentrations, height, weight, and waist and hip circumference were measured between 1997 and 1999. Body composition measurements via DXA were taken between 2002 and 2004.

Within the cohort, 19% had adequate vitamin D status, which was a serum 25-(OH)D of at least 75 nmol/L, 29% had vitamin D insufficiency (50-75 nmol/L) and 52% had vitamin D deficiency (< 50 nmol/L). Vitamin D-deficient participants had a mean 1.29-unit higher body fat percentage vs. those with adequate vitamin D status (95% CI, 0.55-2.04), but researchers observed no between-group differences for lean mass (0.24-unit lower body fat percentage; 95% CI, –0.33 to 0.35).

Researchers found that lower 25-(OH)D concentration was associated with higher total body fat percentage in participants without cardiometabolic disease (beta = 1.7; 95% CI, 0.87-2.53). Each 10-unit increase in serum 25-(OH)D was associated with a 0.03-unit decrease in android fat (beta = –0.03; 95% CI, –0.06 to –0.01), but results did not persist after adjustment for BMI. The relationship between 25-(OH)D and the ratio of android to gynoid fat also was explained by BMI.

“We found an association between 25-(OH)D and total fat percentage only in subjects free of cardiometabolic disease,” the researchers wrote. “In contrast, we only found a significant association between 25-(OH)D and BMI in those with a metabolic syndrome, suggesting that a complex interaction between 25-(OH)D, body composition and cardiometabolic disease may exist, and it needs further elucidation.”

In sensitivity analysis, researchers found no between-sex differences for 25-(OH)D and body composition (P = .051 for interaction). – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.