Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased mortality and is particularly associated with diabetes-related deaths, according to research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain, on 19 September 2019
Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna examined the records of 78,581 patients who had their 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D) levels measured between 1991 and 2011.
During this period (median 10.5 years follow up), there were 11,877 deaths.
Compared with vitamin D blood levels of 50 nanomol/L, used as the cut-off level for vitamin D deficiency, levels of <10 nanomol/L were associated with a two- to three-fold increased risk of death. The association was most pronounced in younger and middle-aged groups, and the association between diabetes and vitamin D deficiency was especially strong, with a four-fold increased risk of death (hazard ratio 4.4; 95% confidence interval 3.1–6.3).
In contrast, levels of ≥90 nanomol/L were associated with up to a 40% reduction in all-cause mortality.
“Our findings strengthen the rationale for wide-spread vitamin D supplementation … [and] emphasise the need for it early in life,” the researchers concluded.
 Marculescu R, Endler G, Yang L et al. European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting. 16–20 September 2019. Barcelona, Spain.