Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) reflects inadequate growth in-utero and is prevalent in low resource settings. This study aimed to assess the association of maternal delivery parathyroid hormone (PTH) – a regulator of bone turnover and calcium homeostasis – with newborn anthropometry, to identify regulators of PTH, and to delineate pathways by which maternal PTH regulates birth size using path analysis. This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from participants (n = 537) enrolled in the Maternal Vitamin D for Infant Growth trial in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Primary exposures were maternal delivery intact PTH (iPTH) or whole PTH (wPTH) and outcomes were gestational age- and sex-standardized z-scores for birth length (LAZ), weight (WAZ), and head circumference (HCAZ). Hypothesized regulators of PTH included calcium and protein intake, vitamin D, magnesium, fibroblast-like growth factor-23 (FGF23), and C-reactive protein. Maternal iPTH was not associated with birth size in linear regression analyses; however, in path analysis models, every SD increase in log(iPTH) was associated with 0.08SD (95% CI: 0.002, 0.162) higher LAZ. In linear regression and path analysis models, wPTH was positively associated with WAZ. Vitamin D suppressed PTH, while FGF23 was positively associated with PTH. In path analysis models, higher magnesium was negatively associated with LAZ; FGF23 was positively associated and protein intake was negatively associated with LAZ, WAZ, and HCAZ. Higher maternal PTH in late pregnancy is unlikely to contribute to IUGR. Future studies should investigate maternal FGF23, magnesium and protein intake as regulators of fetal growth, particularly in settings where food insecurity and IUGR are public health problems.
Huma Qamar, Nandita Perumal, Eszter Papp, Alison D Gernand, Abdullah Al Mahmud, and Daniel E Roth
Suma Uday, Ardita Kongjonaj, Magda Aguiar, Ted Tulchinsky, and Wolfgang Högler
Nutritional rickets is a growing global public health concern despite existing prevention programmes and health policies. We aimed to compare infant and childhood vitamin D supplementation policies, implementation strategies and practices across Europe and explore factors influencing adherence.
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Bone and Growth Plate Working Group members and other specialists completed a questionnaire on country-specific vitamin D supplementation policy and child health care programmes, socioeconomic factors, policy implementation strategies and adherence. Factors influencing adherence were assessed using Kendall’s tau-b correlation coefficient.
Responses were received from 29 of 30 European countries (97%). Ninety-six per cent had national policies for infant vitamin D supplementation. Supplements are commenced on day 1–5 in 48% (14/29) of countries, day 6–21 in 48% (14/29); only the UK (1/29) starts supplements at 6 months. Duration of supplementation varied widely (6 months to lifelong in at-risk populations). Good (≥80% of infants), moderate (50–79%) and low adherence (<50%) to supplements was reported by 59% (17/29), 31% (9/29) and 10% (3/29) of countries, respectively. UK reported lowest adherence (5–20%). Factors significantly associated with good adherence were universal supplementation independent of feeding mode (P = 0.007), providing information at neonatal unit (NNU) discharge (P = 0.02), financial family support (P = 0.005); monitoring adherence at surveillance visits (P = 0.001) and the total number of factors adopted (P < 0.001).
Good adherence to supplementation is a multi-task operation that works best when parents are informed at birth, all babies are supplemented, and adherence monitoring is incorporated into child health surveillance visits. Implementation strategies matter for delivering efficient prevention policies.
Julia Kubiak, Per Medbøe Thorsby, Elena Kamycheva, and Rolf Jorde
Low serum 25(OH)D levels are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and some of its risk factors. However, in interventional studies, the effects of vitamin D supplementation have been uncertain, possibly due to inclusion of vitamin D-sufficient subjects. Our aim was therefore to examine effects of vitamin D supplementation on CVD risk factors in vitamin D-insufficient subjects.
Double-blinded randomized controlled trial.
A 4-month interventional study with high-dose vitamin D (100,000 IU loading dose, followed by 20,000 IU/week) or placebo with measurements of blood pressure, lipids (total-, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoproteins A1 and B), and glucose metabolism parameters (blood glucose, HbA1c, serum human receptors for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE), insulin, C-peptide and HOMA-IR).
A total of 422 subjects with mean serum 25(OH)D level 34 nmol/L were included, with 411 subjects completing the study. Serum 25(OH)D levels increased with 56 nmol/L and decreased with 4 nmol/L in the vitamin D and placebo group, respectively. We found no statistically significant differences between the two groups in any of the measured CVD risk factors, except for a minor increase in sRAGE in the vitamin D group. Stratified analyses of subjects with low baseline serum 25(OH)D levels alone, or combined with blood pressure, lipid and HOMA-IR values above the median for the cohort, did not skew the results in favour of vitamin D supplementation.
Supplementation with vitamin D in subjects with baseline vitamin D insufficiency does not improve CVD risk factor profile.
Iulia Soare, Anca Sirbu, Mihai Mircea Diculescu, Bogdan Radu Mateescu, Cristian Tieranu, Sorina Martin, Carmen Gabriela Barbu, Mirela Ionescu, and Simona Fica
Background and aim
Low bone mineral density (BMD) is a common complication in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, debates are ongoing with regard to the other involved factors, especially in younger patients. This study aimed to evaluate the parameters that contribute to decreased BMD, focusing on premenopausal women and men aged <50 years.
This study included 81 patients with IBD and 81 age-, sex- and BMI-matched controls. Blood tests were conducted on IBD patients, and a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was performed on both groups.
Low BMD and fragility fracture were found to be more prevalent in IBD patients than in healthy subjects (49.3% vs 23.4%, P = 0.001 and 9.8% vs 1.2%, P = 0.01, respectively). Patients with low BMD were older, with a longer disease duration, higher faecal calprotectin (FC) levels and lower magnesium and lean mass (appreciated as appendicular skeletal muscle index (ASMI)). Multiple regression analysis revealed that ASMI, age and use of glucocorticoids were the independent parameters for decreased BMD. Although 91.3% of the patients had a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of <30 ng/mL, it was not a statistically significant factor for decreased BMD.
In our study, the levels of vitamin D did not seem to have an important impact on BMD. Conversely, FC, magnesium and lean mass are important factors, suggesting that good control of disease, adequate magnesium intake and increased lean mass can have a good impact on bone metabolism in patients with IBD.
Rolf Jorde and Guri Grimnes
In addition to its skeletal effects, vitamin D may also be important for health in general. It is uncertain what level of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), marker of vitamin D status, is sufficient for these effects. With decreasing serum 25(OH)D levels there is an increase in serum PTH. The point at which this occurs has been considered as a threshold for vitamin D sufficiency. The thresholds found have varied widely and have mainly been based on observational studies. However, to truly establish a threshold for vitamin D effects, this has to be based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
The study included 2803 subjects from a general health survey, the Tromsø study, and pooled individual person data from five vitamin D intervention studies (n = 1544). Serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) and change in PTH after vitamin D supplementation were related to serum 25(OH)D levels in steps of 25 nmol/L (<24, 25–49, 50–74, 75–99, and >99 nmol/L).
In the Tromsø study, in the females there was a gradual decrease in serum PTH with increasing serum 25(OH)D with no apparent plateau, whereas in the males the decrease in PTH in subjects with serum 25(OH)D >74 nmol/l was marginal. In pooled RCTs, there was a significant reduction in serum PTH by vitamin D supplementation regardless of baseline serum 25(OH)D level.
The use of the serum PTH–25(OH)D relation from observational studies to determine a threshold for vitamin D sufficiency is highly questionable.
K Amrein, A Papinutti, E Mathew, G Vila, and D Parekh
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in intensive care units ranges typically between 40 and 70%. There are many reasons for being or becoming deficient in the ICU. Hepatic, parathyroid and renal dysfunction additionally increases the risk for developing vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, therapeutic interventions like fluid resuscitation, dialysis, surgery, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, cardiopulmonary bypass and plasma exchange may significantly reduce vitamin D levels. Many observational studies have consistently shown an association between low vitamin D levels and poor clinical outcomes in critically ill adults and children, including excess mortality and morbidity such as acute kidney injury, acute respiratory failure, duration of mechanical ventilation and sepsis. It is biologically plausible that vitamin D deficiency is an important and modifiable contributor to poor prognosis during and after critical illness. Although vitamin D supplementation is inexpensive, simple and has an excellent safety profile, testing for and treating vitamin D deficiency is currently not routinely performed. Overall, less than 800 patients have been included in RCTs worldwide, but the available data suggest that high-dose vitamin D supplementation could be beneficial. Two large RCTs in Europe and the United States, together aiming to recruit >5000 patients, have started in 2017, and will greatly improve our knowledge in this field. This review aims to summarize current knowledge in this interdisciplinary topic and give an outlook on its highly dynamic future.
J A Tamblyn, C Jenkinson, D P Larner, M Hewison, and M D Kilby
Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnant women and may contribute to adverse events in pregnancy such as preeclampsia (PET). To date, studies of vitamin D and PET have focused primarily on serum concentrations vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) later in pregnancy. The aim here was to determine whether a more comprehensive analysis of vitamin D metabolites earlier in pregnancy could provide predictors of PET. Using samples from the SCOPE pregnancy cohort, multiple vitamin D metabolites were quantified by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry in paired serum and urine prior to the onset of PET symptoms. Samples from 50 women at pregnancy week 15 were analysed, with 25 (50%) developing PET by the end of the pregnancy and 25 continuing with uncomplicated pregnancy. Paired serum and urine from non-pregnant women (n = 9) of reproductive age were also used as a control. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D3, 25(OH)D2, 1,25(OH)2D3, 24,25(OH)2D3 and 3-epi-25(OH)D3 were measured and showed no significant difference between women with uncomplicated pregnancies and those developing PET. As previously reported, serum 1,25(OH)2D3 was higher in all pregnant women (in the second trimester), but serum 25(OH)D2 was also higher compared to non-pregnant women. In urine, 25(OH)D3 and 24,25(OH)2D3 were quantifiable, with both metabolites demonstrating significantly lower (P < 0.05) concentrations of both of these metabolites in those destined to develop PET. These data indicate that analysis of urinary metabolites provides an additional insight into vitamin D and the kidney, with lower urinary 25(OH)D3 and 24,25(OH)2D3 excretion being an early indicator of a predisposition towards developing PET.
Fabienne A U Fox, Lennart Koch, Monique M B Breteler, and N Ahmad Aziz
Maintaining muscle function throughout life is critical for healthy ageing. Although in vitro studies consistently indicate beneficial effects of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) on muscle function, findings from population-based studies remain inconclusive. We therefore aimed to examine the association between 25-OHD concentration and handgrip strength across a wide age range and assess potential modifying effects of age, sex and season.
We analysed cross-sectional baseline data of 2576 eligible participants out of the first 3000 participants (recruited from March 2016 to March 2019) of the Rhineland Study, a community-based cohort study in Bonn, Germany. Multivariate linear regression models were used to assess the relation between 25-OHD levels and grip strength while adjusting for age, sex, education, smoking, season, body mass index, physical activity levels, osteoporosis and vitamin D supplementation.
Compared to participants with deficient 25-OHD levels (<30 nmol/L), grip strength was higher in those with inadequate (30 to <50 nmol/L) and adequate (≥50 to ≤125 nmol/L) levels (ß inadequate = 1.222, 95% CI: 0.377; 2.067, P = 0.005; ß adequate = 1.228, 95% CI: 0.437; 2.019, P = 0.002). Modelling on a continuous scale revealed grip strength to increase with higher 25-OHD levels up to ~100 nmol/L, after which the direction reversed (ß linear = 0.505, 95% CI: 0.179; 0.830, P = 0.002; ß quadratic = –0.153, 95% CI: –0.269; -0.038, P = 0.009). Older adults showed weaker effects of 25-OHD levels on grip strength than younger adults (ß 25OHDxAge = –0.309, 95% CI: –0.594; –0.024, P = 0.033).
Our findings highlight the importance of sufficient 25-OHD levels for optimal muscle function across the adult life span. However, vitamin D supplementation should be closely monitored to avoid detrimental effects.
Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Thurkaa Shanmugalingam, Cecilia Bosco, Wahyu Wulaningsih, and Sabine Rohrmann
Despite mounting evidence linking both calcium and IGF1, there is a lack of studies investigating any association between circulating levels of IGF1 and serum calcium.
Serum calcium, IGF1, and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) were measured for 5368 participants in NHANES III. We calculated multivariable-adjusted geometric means of serum concentrations of IGF1, IGFBP3, and IGF1/IGFBP3 by categories of calcium (lowest 5% (<1.16 mmol/l), mid 90%, and top 5% (≥1.31 mmol/l)). We also performed stratified analyses by sex, age, ethnicity, BMI, serum levels of vitamin D, and bone mineral density (BMD).
Overall, we found that circulating calcium was positively associated with circulating levels of IGF1 and IGFBP3, but not their molar ratio (i.e., geometric mean of IGF1 by increasing calcium categories: 237.63, 246.51, and 264.22 ng/nl; P trend: 0.43; P first vs third category: 0.01). In particular, these associations were observed in women, people aged <60, non-Hispanic whites, those with vitamin D levels above the mean, and those with low BMD. In contrast, there was an inverse association with the molar ratio for those with BMI ≥30 kg/m2.
We found an overall positive association between circulating levels of IGF1 and IGFBP3 and serum calcium. However, stratification by potential effect-modifiers did not support all suggested hypotheses. Our findings provide more insight into the interplay between calcium and IGF1, which in the future can be investigated in larger observational studies allowing for additional stratifications based on a combination of the different effect-modifiers investigated here.
Jean-Philippe Bertocchio, Natalie Grosset, Lionel Groussin, Peter Kamenický, Fabrice Larceneux, Anne Lienhardt-Roussie, Agnès Linglart, Gérard Maruani, Eric Mirallie, François Pattou, Riyad N H Seervai, Coralie Sido, Caroline Silve, Aurélie Vilfaillot, Antoine Tabarin, Marie-Christine Vantyghem, Pascal Houillier, and the investigators of the Épi-Hypo study
Recent guidelines have provided recommendations for the care of patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism. Very little is known about actual physicians’ practices or their adherence to such guidelines.
To describe the physicians’ practice patterns and their compliance with international guidelines.
The cohort studies included were Épi-Hypo (118 physicians and 107 patients, from September 2016 to December 2019) and ePatients (110 patients, November 2019).
Internet-based cohorts involving all settings at a nationwide level (France). Participants were (i) physicians treating patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism and patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism either participating in the (ii) Épi-Hypo study (Épi-Hypo 2019 patients), or (iii) Hypoparathyroidism France, the national representative association (ePatients).
The physicians’ specialties were mainly endocrinology (61%), nephrology (28%), family medicine (2.5%), pediatrics (2.5%), rheumatology (2%), or miscellaneous (4%) and 45% were practicing in public universities. The median number of pharmaceutical drug classes prescribed was three per patient. The combination of active vitamin D and calcium salt was given to 59 and 58% of ePatients and Épi-Hypo 2019 patients, respectively. Eighty-five percent of ePatients and 87% of physicians reported monitoring plasma calcium concentrations at a steady state at least twice a year. In 32 and 26% of cases, respectively, ePatients and physicians reported being fully in accordance with international guidelines that recommend targeting symptoms, plasma calcium and phosphate values, and urine calcium excretion.
The care of patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism involves physicians with very different practices, so guidelines should include and target other specialists as well as endocrinologists. Full adherence to the guidelines is low in France.