Low vitamin D status adversely affects bone health parameters in adolescents

Kevin D. Cashman, Tom R. Hill, Alice A. Cotter, Colin A. Boreham, Werner Dubitzky, Liam Murray, JJ Strain, Albert Flynn, Paula J. Robson, Julie Wallace, Mairead Kiely

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    107 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The effects of subclinical vitamin D deficiency on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover in adolescents, especially in boys, are unclear. Objective: We aimed to investigate the relations of different stages of vitamin D status and BMD and bone turnover in a representative sample of adolescent boys and girls. Design: BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the nondominant forearm and dominant heel in a random sample of 12- (n = 260) and 15-y-old (n = 239) boys and 12- (n = 266) and 15-y-old (n = 250) girls. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone, osteocalcin, and type I collagen cross-linked C-telopeptide were assessed by using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Relations between vitamin D status and bone health indexes were assessed by using regression modeling. Results: Using multivariate regression to adjust for potential physical, lifestyle, and dietary confounding factors, we observed that 12-and 15-y-old girls with high vitamin D status (>= 74.1 nmol/L) had significantly greater forearm (but not heel) BMD (beta = 0.018; SE = 0.008; P < 0.05 for each age group) and lower serum parathyroid hormone concentrations and bone turnover markers than did those with low vitamin D status. These associations were evident in subjects sampled throughout the year and in winter only. There was no significant relation between vitamin D status and BMD in boys. Conclusions: Maintaining serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations above approximate to 50 nmol/L throughout the year may be a cost-effective means of improving bone health. Increased emphasis on exploring strategies for improving vitamin D status in adolescents is needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1039-1044
    JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 2008


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