OBJECTIVE To examine the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is associated with an increased prevalence of microvascular complications in young people with type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a cross-sectional study of 517 patients, 25-hydroxyvitamin D was measured. Retinopathy was assessed by 7-field stereoscopic retinal photography, peripheral neuropathy by thermal and vibration threshold testing, and microalbuminuria by albumin excretion rate or albumin-to-creatinine ratio.
RESULTS Retinopathy prevalence was higher in cases with VDD versus sufficiency (18 vs. 9%, P = 0.02); deficiency was not associated with microalbuminuria or neuropathy. In logistic regression, retinopathy was associated with VDD (odds ratio 2.12 [95% CI 1.03–4.33]), diabetes duration (1.13, 1.05–1.23), and HbA1c (1.24, 1.02–1.50).
CONCLUSIONS VDD is associated with an increased prevalence of retinopathy in young people with type 1 diabetes. The inflammatory and angiogenic effects of VDD may contribute to early retinal vascular damage; however, further investigations are warranted.
- Received January 16, 2011.
- Accepted March 27, 2011.
- © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.
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