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Findings from University of Pennsylvania Hospital Update Understanding of Vitamin D Deficiency


By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Gastroenterology Week -- New research on Diet and Nutrition Disorders is the subject of a report. According to news reporting from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Previous studies on experimental mouse models have suggested a role of vitamin D in immune system regulation and IBD disease severity. In this study, we examine the relationship between vitamin D levels and clinical disease activity in human subjects with ulcerative colitis (UC)."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, "We hypothesized that patients with vitamin D deficiency will display increased UC disease activity as compared to patients with normal vitamin D levels. A cross-sectional study was performed by querying the outpatient electronic medical record of our health system for patients seen in the gastroenterology clinic from January 2007 to October 2009 who carried both a diagnosis of UC and a documented 25-OH vitamin D level within 30 days of their clinic visit. Demographic and clinical variables were collected. Clinical disease activity was calculated using the six-point partial Mayo index. Active disease was defined as a six-point index score of >= 1. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a 25-OH D level below 30 ng/ml. Data were analyzed using the chi-square distribution test. Thirty-four patients met inclusion criteria (53 % female, mean age 45.7 +/- 24.7 years). Fifteen patients had normal vitamin D levels and 19 patients were vitamin D deficient. Twelve patients had vitamin D levels <20 ng/ml. Vitamin D deficient patients were statistically more likely to have increased disease activity than patients with normal vitamin D levels (p = 0.04), with 68 % of deficient patients displaying active disease compared with 33 % in the sufficient group. There was also a statistically significant association between vitamin D status and need for treatment with steroids, with a higher percentage of vitamin D deficient patients (47 %) requiring such treatment compared with 7 % in the sufficient group (p = 0.02). There was no association between season of visit and disease activity. Vitamin D deficiency is common among patients with active UC, particularly those requiring corticosteroids."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Further investigation is needed to determine the clinical utility of vitamin D monitoring in patients with UC and whether there is a role for vitamin D as a treatment for UC."

For more information on this research see: Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Ulcerative Colitis Disease Activity. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 2013;58(6):1698-1702. Digestive Diseases and Sciences can be contacted at: Springer, Van Godewijckstraat 30, 3311 Gz Dordrecht, Netherlands. (Springer -; Digestive Diseases and Sciences -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S. Blanck, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Div Gastroenterol, Dept. of Med, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States. Additional authors for this research include F. Aberra (see also Diet and Nutrition Disorders).

Keywords for this news article include: Treatment, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Avitaminosis, Malnutrition, United States, Gastroenteritis, Colonic Diseases, Gastroenterology, Ulcerative Colitis, Deficiency Diseases, Vitamin D Deficiency, North and Central America, Digestive System Diseases, Gastrointestinal Diseases, Diet and Nutrition Disorders

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2013, NewsRx LLC

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