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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Metabolic Risks in Obese

A new study involving morbidly obese adolescents shows that vitamin D deficiency is significantly related to cardiometabolic risk factors, including insulin resistance. Previous studies in adults and young children have shown that obesity increases the risk for vitamin D deficiency, which in turn correlates to high blood pressure, increased insulin resistance, and diabetes. However, this association has not been previously found in adolescents.

Marisa Censani, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues analyzed the laboratory measurements of 236 teens who being evaluated prior to bariatric surgery at their center between 2006 and 2011. Their mean age was 16, their mean body mass index (BMI) was 47.5 kg/m2, and mean waist circumference was 135 cm. More than half of the teens were vitamin D deficient (below 20 ng/mL) while 8% were severely deficient. Only less than 20% of the teens had sufficient vitamin D levels.

Dr. Censani reports that low vitamin D levels in the participants were associated with increased fasting insulin levels and increased hemoglobin (Hb) A1c levels, which are known cardiometabolic risk factors. Furthermore, they found that low vitamin D levels were found to be predictive of insulin resistance, which is also associated with poorer blood sugar control. Other factors that were linked with vitamin D deficiency were increased waist circumference and HDL cholesterol levels.

Censani, who reported their findings in a poster session at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, believes that further research is needed to study the short- and long-term risks of vitamin D deficiency for dyslipidemia, bone disease, and diabetes in adolescents.


Walsh, N. Low Vitamin D in Obese Linked to Risks. MedPage Today.



Posted in: News Briefs, Obesity

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