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control of Diabetes may be linked to low
Newswise, June 21, 2010 — Vitamin D deficiency is highly
prevalent in patients with Type 2 diabetes
and may be associated with poor blood sugar
control, according to a new study.
“This finding supports an active role of
vitamin D in the development of Type 2
diabetes,” said study co-author Esther Krug,
MD, an assistant professor of medicine at
The Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine and an endocrinologist at Sinai
Krug and her colleagues reviewed the medical
charts of 124 patients with Type 2 diabetes
who came to an endocrine outpatient clinic
for specialty care from 2003 to 2008.
Patients’ age ranged from 36 to 89 years.
All patients had a single measurement of
their serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels as
part of their evaluation at the clinic. The
researchers divided the patients into
quartiles based on vitamin D level.
Despite receiving regular primary care
visits before referral to the endocrine
clinic, 91 percent of patients had either
vitamin D deficiency (defined as a level
below 15 nanograms per deciliter, or ng/dL)
or insufficiency (15 to 31 ng/dL), the
authors reported. Only about 6 percent of
patients were taking vitamin D supplements
at their first visit.
Additionally, the investigators found an
inverse relationship between the patients’
blood levels of vitamin D and their
hemoglobin A1c value, a measure of blood
sugar control over the past several months.
Lower vitamin D levels were discovered in
patients with higher average blood sugars as
measured by HbA1c, Krug said. Compared with
whites, blacks had a higher average A1c and
lower average vitamin D level.
“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,” she said..