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Recent epidemiological studies have suggested inverse associations between vitamin D status and metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The aim of this study was to examine whether a higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was associated with a more favorable glucose homeostasis among adults without diabetes in Southwest China.
Serum 25(OH)D concentration was measured in a cross-sectional sample of 1514 adults without diabetes aged 25–65 years recruited from Southwest China. Indices describing glucose homeostasis included fasting plasma glucose (FPG), fasting insulin, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), the homeostatic model assessment 2-insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR) and odds of pre-diabetes. Data were analyzed by multivariable-adjusted regression models.
The average serum 25(OH)D was 22.66 ng/ml, and percentages of vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 20 ng/ml], insufficiency [20 ≤ 25(OH)D ≤ 30 ng/ml] were 47.6 and 32.2%, respectively. Serum 25(OH)D was inversely associated with fasting insulin (P = 0.0007), HbA1c (P = 0.0001) and HOMA2-IR (P = 0.0007), but not with FPG, after adjusting for age, gender, monthly personal income, smoking status, energy intake, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and waist circumference (WC). Compared with the lowest 25(OH)D tertile, the odds ratio for pre-diabetes in the highest tertile was 0.68 (95%CI: 0.47-0.99) after adjustment for cofounders. In the following stratified analyses according to weight status, we only observed this inverse association between serum 25(OH)D and pre-diabetes in overweight or obese adults (n = 629, P = 0.047), but not in their counterparts with BMI < 24 kg/m2.
Our results advocate that a higher serum 25(OH)D level is associated with decreased risk of impairment of glucose homeostasis among adults without diabetes in Southwest China. Further studies are warranted to determine the role of vitamin D in glucose homeostasis.