The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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January - March 2008, Volume 4, Issue 1
Endocrine Care

Grigorie D, Sucaliuc A, Ivan M, Neacsu E, Popa O, Diaconescu A

High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in 1048 Romanian women with postmenopausal osteoporosis

Acta Endo (Buc) 2008, 4 (1): 33-45
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2008.33

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are common medical problems worldwide as they\r\nare quite prevalent in both healthy adults and individuals with osteoporosis, hospitalized patients\r\nand free-living and institutionalized elderly. The lack of serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD)\r\nassays standardization, variability of reference population, and the use of different cut-off points\r\nhave produced quite different prevalence reports from epidemiological studies.\r\nWe investigated the vitamin D status (deficiency, insufficiency, sufficiency) in 1048\r\nRomanian postmenopausal women with osteoporosis referred to our clinic for diagnosis and\r\ntreatment in the last three years. Most patients were untreated with osteoporosis drugs and nonsupplemented\r\nwith vitamin D. In our country dietary sources of vitamin D are scarce and there\r\nis no fortification of food with vitamin D. We found a high prevalence of both vitamin D\r\ndeficiency (25OHD < 10 ng/mL) - 22.23% and insufficiency (25OHD=10-30 ng/mL) - 61.26%.\r\nOur study also revealed a high prevalence of low vitamin D when using other cut-offs as reported\r\nin the literature. 83.49% had values lower than 30 ng/mL and 60.97% lower than 20 ng/mL. In\r\nthis study we identified a serum 25OHD concentration of 35 ng/mL above which serum\r\nparathyroid hormone (PTH) concentration attains a plateau at about 35 pg/mL. The relation\r\nbetween serum PTH and 25OHD concentration was non-linear and a log-log diagram showed a\r\nvery weak correlation. The prevalence of secondary hyperparathyroidism was 32.25% in the\r\nwhole population studied. It ranged from 40% in the subgroup of serum 25OHD less than 10\r\nng/mL to less than 15% in patients with 25OHD higher than 30 ng/mL.\r\nIn conclusion, in a representative osteoporosis population from Romania we found a very\r\nhigh prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency whatever the cut-off used for\r\ndefinition.

Keywords: osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D insufficiency, secondary hyperparathyroidism

Correspondence: Daniel Grigorie, Endocrinology Department, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 34-36 Aviatorilor Blvd., Bucharest; Phone: +40213003632, e-mail: