Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D associated with pulmonary function in Canadian adults with excess adiposity1-3

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Vitamin D deficiency is an important health issue, particularly among people residing in northern countries. Low concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] have been linked to several health conditions.


The objective was to determine the association between plasma 25(OH)D and pulmonary function and the effect modifications of sex and body mass index (BMI) in adults.


A cross-sectional study included 3359 adults aged ≥18 y who participated in the Canadian Health Measures Survey, and a 2-stage multiple linear regression analysis was conducted.


Overall, 26% of the adults had a plasma 25(OH)D concentration <50 nmol/L, which is considered deficient (ie, hypovitaminosis D). This deficiency was more prevalent among men than among women (30% compared with 23%). Regression analysis showed that deficient plasma 25(OH)D was associated with lower mean residual forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 s in men after adjustment for covariates. When further stratified by BMI, the associations were more marked in overweight and obese men. Vitamin D deficiency associated with pulmonary function was not statistically significant in normal-weight men or in women, regardless of BMI categories. Similar results were obtained when plasma 25(OH)D was examined as a continuous variable in the models.


Hypovitaminosis D may be a risk factor for lung dysfunction, especially for overweight and obese men. Further research is necessary to determine the mechanism of the interrelation between vitamin D, adiposity, and pulmonary function.

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