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,” Esther Krug, MD, study co-author, assistant professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an endocrinologist at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, stated in a press release.
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% of patients had either vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, the authors reported. Only about 6% 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. Lower vitamin D levels were discovered in patients with higher average blood sugars as measured by HbA1c, Krug stated.