Vitamin D, Muscle Function, and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Adolescents From the Young Hearts Study.

E L Carson, Kirsty Pourshahidi, T R Hill, K D Cashman, JJ Strain, C A Boreham, Maria S. Mulhern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


CONTEXTVitamin D insufficiency is common among the adolescent population and may have implications for health outcomes in later life. Few studies have investigated the role of vitamin D status in muscle function and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) during adolescence.OBJECTIVEThe aim of this study was to investigate the association between vitamin D status and fat-free mass (FFM), muscle strength, muscle power, and CRF in a representative sample of adolescents from Northern Ireland.DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTSThis was a cross-sectional study involving 1015 adolescents (age 12 and 15 y), who had 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] data available as part of the Young Hearts Study 2000.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURESThe main outcome measures of this study were FFM (kg) and FFM corrected for height [fat-free mass index; FFM (kg)/height (m(2))], muscle strength (kg), peak muscle power (kW) and VO2 max (CRF; mL/kg/min).RESULTSMultinomial regression analyses, controlling for environmental and lifestyle factors, demonstrated that boys age 15 years in the highest tertile of standardized serum 25(OH)D concentration (> 51 nmol/L) had significantly higher muscle strength (β = 3.90; P ≤ .001) compared with those in the lowest tertile (<32 nmol/L). These results were not evident in any other age-sex group and vitamin D status was not significantly associated with muscle power or CRF in any of the four age-sex groups.CONCLUSIONThese results support a role for vitamin D in muscle function in adolescent males and suggest the need for more research in this vulnerable age group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4621-4628
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Dec 2015


  • Vitamin D
  • muscle function
  • cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Adolescents


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