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Low vitamin D and the risk of developing chronic widespread pain: results from the European male ageing study

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Abstract

Background
The association between low levels of vitamin D and the occurrence of chronic widespread pain (CWP) remains unclear. The aim of our analysis was to determine the relationship between low vitamin D levels and the risk of developing CWP in a population sample of middle age and elderly men.

Methods
Three thousand three hundred sixty nine men aged 40–79 were recruited from 8 European centres for a longitudinal study of male ageing, the European Male Ageing Study. At baseline participants underwent assessment of lifestyle, health factors, physical characteristics and gave a fasting blood sample. The occurrence of pain was assessed at baseline and follow up (a mean of 4.3 years later) by shading painful sites on a body manikin. The presence of CWP was determined using the ACR criteria for fibromyalgia. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-(OH) D) was assessed by radioimmunoassay. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between baseline vitamin D levels and the new occurrence of CWP.

Results
Two thousand three hundred thirteen men, mean age 58.8 years (SD?=?10.6), had complete pain and vitamin data available and contributed to this analysis. 151 (6.5 %) developed new CWP at follow up and 577 (24.9 %) were pain free at both time points, the comparator group. After adjustment for age and centre, physical performance and number of comorbidities, compared to those in upper quintile of 25-(OH) D ( =36.3 ng/mL), those in the lowest quintile (<15.6 ng/mL) were more likely to develop CWP (Odds Ratio [OR]?=?1.93; 95 % CI?=?1.0-3.6). Further adjustment for BMI (OR?=?1.67; 95 % CI?=?0.93-3.02) or depression (OR?=?1.77; 95 % CI?=?0.98-3.21), however rendered the association non-significant.

Conclusions
Low vitamin D is linked with the new occurrence of CWP, although this may be explained by underlying adverse health factors, particularly obesity and depression.

Citation

(2016). Low vitamin D and the risk of developing chronic widespread pain: results from the European male ageing study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 32. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-016-0881-6

Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2016
Publication Date Jan 16, 2016
Journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Print ISSN 1471-2474
Publisher BioMed Central
Pages 32
DOI https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-016-0881-6
Keywords Chronic Widespread pain, Chronic Pain, Vitamin D, Epidemiology, Obesity, Depression
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12891-016-0881-6

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