British Journal of Nutrition

Short Communication

Diabetes prevalence is associated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in US middle-aged Caucasian men and women: a cross-sectional analysis within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial

Kaye E. Brocka1 c1, Wen-Yi Huanga2, David R. Frasera3, Liang Kea1a4, Marilyn Tsenga5, Rebecca S. Masona6, Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomona2, D. Michal Freedmana2, Jiyoung Ahna7, Ulrike Petersa8, Catherine McCartya9, Bruce W. Hollisa10, Regina G. Zieglera2, Mark P. Purduea2 and Barry I. Graubarda2

a1 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia

a2 Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

a3 Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia

a4 Department of Research and Development, George Institute, Beijing, People's Republic of China

a5 Department of Kinesiology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

a6 Bosch Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia

a7 Division of Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, NY, USA

a8 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Seattle, WA, USA

a9 Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA

a10 Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA


Hypovitaminosis D may be associated with diabetes, hypertension and CHD. However, because studies examining the associations of all three chronic conditions with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) are limited, we examined these associations in the US Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial (n 2465). Caucasian PLCO participants selected as controls in previous nested case–control studies of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D were included in this analysis. Diabetes, CHD and hypertension prevalence, risk factors for these conditions and intake of vitamin D and Ca were collected from a baseline questionnaire. Results indicated that serum levels of 25(OH)D were low ( < 50 nmol/l) in 29 % and very low ( < 37 nmol/l) in 11 % of subjects. The prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and CHD was 7, 30 and 10 %, respectively. After adjustment for confounding by sex, geographical location, educational level, smoking history, BMI, physical activity, total dietary energy and vitamin D and Ca intake, only diabetes was significantly associated with lower 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D levels. Caucasians who had 25(OH)D ≥ 80 nmol/l were half as likely to have diabetes (OR 0·5 (95 % CI 0·3, 0·9)) compared with those who had 25(OH)D < 37 nmol/l. Those in the highest quartile of 1,25(OH)2D ( ≥ 103 pmol/l) were less than half as likely to have diabetes (OR 0·3 (95 % CI 0·1, 0·7)) than those in the lowest quartile ( < 72 pmol/l). In conclusion, the independent associations of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D with diabetes prevalence in a large population are new findings, and thus warrant confirmation in larger, prospective studies.

(Received June 16 2010)

(Revised January 13 2011)

(Accepted February 14 2011)

(Online publication May 17 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: K. E. Brock, fax +61 2 93519540, email


Abbreviations: 1,25(OH)2D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D; 25(OH)D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D; PA, physical activity