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Open access

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.

Open access

Elena Valassi, Natalia García-Giralt, Jorge Malouf, Iris Crespo, Jaume Llauger, Adolfo Díez-Pérez, and Susan M Webb

Background

Biochemical control of GH/IGF-I excess in acromegaly (ACRO) is associated with persistent impairment of trabecular microstructure leading to increased risk of vertebral fractures. Circulating miRNAs modulate the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and may be potential biomarkers of osteoporosis.

Aims

Identify differentially expressed miRNAs in the serum of patients with controlled ACRO vs controls and correlate miRNA levels with both biochemical and structural bone parameters.

Patients and methods

Twenty-seven patients with controlled ACRO (11 males, 16 females; mean age, 48 ± 5 years; BMI, 28 ± 4 kg/m2) and 27 age-, gender- and BMI-matched controls were recruited. Areal BMD at lumbar spine and femur, and trabecular bone score were assessed; volumetric BMD was measured by quantitative computed tomography QCT-Pro (Mindways). Twenty miRNAs, chosen by their putative role in bone, were quantified in serum using real-time qPCR.

Results

In ACRO patients, miR-103a-3p and miR-191-5p were found overexpressed, whereas miR-660-5p was underexpressed (P < 0.001). miR-103a-3p levels were negatively associated with both trabecular vBMD at trochanter and serum osteoprotegerin concentrations (P < 0.05) and positively with vitamin D concentrations (P < 0.01) and total cross-sectional area of the femoral neck (P < 0.05). miR-660-5p levels were correlated with both trabecular vBMD at trochanter and OPG concentrations (P < 0.05), but were negatively associated with vitamin D levels (P < 0.05). A negative correlation between miR-103-a-3p and miR-660-5p was found in both groups (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Circulating miR-103a-3p and miR-660-5p are differentially expressed in controlled ACRO patients and associated with bone structural parameters. miRNAs may be one of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of bone disease and could be used as biomarkers in ACRO patients.

Open access

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.

Open access

Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Thurkaa Shanmugalingam, Cecilia Bosco, Wahyu Wulaningsih, and Sabine Rohrmann

Background

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.

Methods

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).

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Open access

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

Context

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.

Objective

To describe the physicians’ practice patterns and their compliance with international guidelines.

Design

The cohort studies included were Épi-Hypo (118 physicians and 107 patients, from September 2016 to December 2019) and ePatients (110 patients, November 2019).

Methods

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).

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

Open access

Mengting Yin, Qianhui Liu, Qingzhong Wang, Yong He, Haolan Song, Xin Nie, and Guixing Li

Background

The diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) remains a challenge because of increased asymptomatic PHPT or patients with normocalcaemic PHPT (NPHPT). In addition, some primary hospitals in China have no equipment to measure parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. Therefore, an additional, simple, and inexpensive laboratory biochemical marker is urgently needed. The calcium/phosphate (Ca/P) ratio and chloride/phosphate (Cl/P) ratio have been proposed as suitable tools to diagnose PHPT in Europe; however, the Ca/P ratio has never been tested in China. We aimed to conduct a confirmatory study to explore the diagnostic performance of the Ca/P ratio for PHPT in China.

Methods

From January 2015 to December 2020, a total of 155 patients who underwent parathyroidectomy (143 PHPT patients and 12 NPHPT patients) and 153 controls were enrolled in this single-center , retrospective study. Serum calcium, phosphate, parathyroid hormone, 25-hydroxyvitamin vitamin D (25(OH) vitamin D), chloride, alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransaminase (AST), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and creatinine levels were recorded for all the study participants. Pairwise comparisons were made between groups, and the diagnostic performance of the Ca/P ratio was determined using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

Results

Patients with PHPT had a higher Ca/P ratio than controls (P < 0.001). A Ca/P ratio above 2.94 with a sensitivity of 95.5% and specificity of 98.7% can distinguish PHPT patients from healthy individuals. This index was positively correlated with the PTH level (r = 0.875, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

The Ca/P ratio is an ideal and inexpensive indicator for diagnosing PHPT in China when using a cut-off value of 2.94.

Open access

Elisabet Einarsdottir, Minna Pekkinen, Kaarel Krjutškov, Shintaro Katayama, Juha Kere, Outi Mäkitie, and Heli Viljakainen

Objective

The effect of vitamin D at the transcriptome level is poorly understood, and furthermore, it is unclear if it differs between obese and normal-weight subjects. The objective of the study was to explore the transcriptome effects of vitamin D supplementation.

Design and methods

We analysed peripheral blood gene expression using GlobinLock oligonucleotides followed by RNA sequencing in individuals participating in a 12-week randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled vitamin D intervention study. The study involved 18 obese and 18 normal-weight subjects (of which 20 males) with mean (±s.d.) age 20.4 (±2.5) years and BMIs 36 (±10) and 23 (±4) kg/m2, respectively. The supplemental daily vitamin D dose was 50 µg (2000 IU). Data were available at baseline, 6- and 12-week time points and comparisons were performed between the vitamin D and placebo groups separately in obese and normal-weight subjects.

Results

Significant transcriptomic changes were observed at 6 weeks, and only in the obese subjects: 1724 genes were significantly upregulated and 186 genes were downregulated in the vitamin D group compared with placebo. Further analyses showed several enriched gene categories connected to mitochondrial function and metabolism, and the most significantly enriched pathway was related to oxidative phosphorylation (adjusted P value 3.08 × 10−14). Taken together, our data suggest an effect of vitamin D supplementation on mitochondrial function in obese subjects.

Conclusions

Vitamin D supplementation affects gene expression in obese, but not in normal-weight subjects. The altered genes are enriched in pathways related to mitochondrial function. The present study increases the understanding of the effects of vitamin D at the transcriptome level.

Open access

Kevin D Cashman

Background

Internationally, concern has been repeatedly raised about the little notable progress in the collection, analysis and use of population micronutrient status and deficiency data globally. The need for representative status and intake data for vitamin D has been highlighted as a research priority for well over a decade.

Aim and methods

A narrative review which aims to provide a summary and assessment of vitamin D nutritional status data globally. This review divides the world into the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) major regions: the Americas, Europe, Oceania, Africa and Asia. Emphasis was placed on published data on the prevalence of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) < 25/30 and <50 nmol/L (reflecting vitamin D deficiency and inadequacy, respectively) as well as vitamin D intake, where possible from nationally representative surveys.

Results

Collating data from the limited number of available representative surveys from individual countries might suggest a relatively low overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in South America, Oceania and North America, whereas there is more moderate prevalence in Europe and Asia, and possibly Africa. Overall, the prevalence of serum 25(OH)D < 25/30 and <50 nmol/L ranges from ~5 to 18% and 24 to 49%, respectively, depending on FAO world region. Usual intakes of vitamin D can also vary by FAO world region, but in general, with a few exceptions, there are very high levels of inadequacy of vitamin D intake.

Conclusions

While the burden of vitamin D deficiency and inadequacy varies by world regions and not just by UVB availability, the global burden overall translates into enormous numbers of individuals at risk.

Open access

Amarjit Saini, Linda Björkhem-Bergman, Johan Boström, Mats Lilja, Michael Melin, Karl Olsson, Lena Ekström, Peter Bergman, Mikael Altun, Eric Rullman, and Thomas Gustafsson

The CC genotype of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphism TaqI rs731236 has previously been associated with a higher risk of developing myopathy compared to TT carriers. However, the mechanistic role of this polymorphism in skeletal muscle is not well defined. The effects of vitamin D on patients genotyped for the VDR polymorphism TaqI rs731236, comparing CC and TT carriers were evaluated. Primary human myoblasts isolated from 4 CC carriers were compared with myoblasts isolated from four TT carriers and treated with vitamin D in vitro. A dose-dependent inhibitory effect on myoblast proliferation and differentiation was observed concurrent with modifications of key myogenic regulatory factors. RNA sequencing revealed a vitamin D dose–response gene signature enriched with a higher number of VDR-responsive elements (VDREs) per gene. Interestingly, the greater the expression of muscle differentiation markers in myoblasts, the more pronounced was the vitamin D-mediated response to suppress genes associated with myogenic fusion and myotube formation. This novel finding provides a mechanistic explanation to the inconsistency regarding previous reports of the role of vitamin D in myoblast differentiation. No effects in myoblast proliferation, differentiation or gene expression were related to CC vs TT carriers. Our findings suggest that the VDR polymorphism TaqI rs731236 comparing CC vs TT carriers did not influence the effects of vitamin D on primary human myoblasts and that vitamin D inhibits myoblast proliferation and differentiation through key regulators of cell cycle progression. Future studies need to employ strategies to identify the primary responses of vitamin D that drive the cellular response towards quiescence.

Open access

Jennifer K Y Ko, Jinghua Shi, Raymond H W Li, William S B Yeung, and Ernest H Y Ng

Objective

Vitamin D receptors are present in the female reproductive tract. Studies on the association between serum vitamin D level and pregnancy rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) showed inconsistent results and focused on a single fresh or frozen embryo transfer cycle. The objective of our study was to evaluate if serum vitamin D level before ovarian stimulation was associated with the cumulative live birth rate (CLBR) of the first IVF cycle.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Women who underwent the first IVF cycle from 2012 to 2016 at a university-affiliated reproductive medicine center were included. Archived serum samples taken before ovarian stimulation were analyzed for 25(OH)D levels using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Results

In total, 1113 had pregnancy outcome from the completed IVF cycle. The median age (25th–75th percentile) of the women was 36 (34–38) years and serum 25(OH)D level was 53.4 (41.9–66.6) nmol/L. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (less than 50 nmol/L) was 42.2%. The CLBR in the vitamin D-deficient group was significantly lower compared to the non-deficient group (43.9%, 208/474 vs 50.9%, 325/639, P  = 0.021, unadjusted), and after controlling for women’s age, BMI, antral follicle count, type and duration of infertility. There were no differences in the clinical/ongoing pregnancy rate, live birth rate and miscarriage rate in the fresh cycle between the vitamin D deficient and non-deficient groups.

Conclusions

Vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in infertile women in subtropical Hong Kong. The CLBR of the first IVF cycle in the vitamin D-deficient group was significantly lower compared to the non-deficient group.