Background: Emerging evidence suggests vitamin D deficiency might be associated with incidence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS). There are concerns about the increasing prevalence of MetS in China, particularly in younger people.
Aims: To investigate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its possible association with MetS in non-manual urban dwellers in a Northern Chinese city known to be affected by industrial pollution.
Methods: 200 apparently healthy participants attending the Health 100 Check-up Center in Taiyuan City, during the winter months, for their annual health appointment were asked questions about lifestyle and had their serum vitamin D levels and markers for MetS measured.
Results: 78% of participants had serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels < 50 nmol/L, below the cut-off for sufficiency. Serum 25(OH)D levels in female participants (median 32.7 nmol/L, interquartile range (IQR): 25.80, 43.80) were lower than in male participants (median 44.0 nmol/L; IQR: 32.30, 55.40). Serum 25(OH)D levels were lower in women under 40 years old (29.25 nmol/L; IQR: 24.05, 40.85) compared to women over 65 years old. The prevalence of MetS was 29.9%. Multiple linear regression analysis identified increased fasting glucose to be significantly associated with vitamin D status (p<0.05) but there was no other association between vitamin D status and other markers of MetS.
Conclusions: Vitamin D insufficiency was highly prevalent, particularly in younger women. Female gender and fasting glucose levels were significantly associated with vitamin D insufficiency.
Funding source: Institute of Food, Nutrition & Human Health, Massey University.