Vitamin D deficiency and airflow limitation in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Mia Moberg, Palchamy Elango, Luigi Ferrucci, Martijn A. Spruit, Emiel F. Wouters, Erica P A Rutten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has also been linked to comorbidities often present in COPD. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate whether vitamin D deficiency was related specifically to airflow limitation or whether vitamin D deficiency was determined by conditions that frequently coexist with COPD: insulin resistance, hypertension, anaemia, obesity and hypercholesterolaemia. Methods: For this cross-sectional analysis, we included 897 subjects from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Subjects taking vitamin D supplements were excluded. Airflow limitation was defined as FEV1/FVC <lower limit of normal. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxy vitamin D <20 ng/mL) and possible determinants. Results: Vitamin D deficiency was not specific for subjects with airflow limitation. Body mass index (BMI) (OR: 1·05, P <0·03) and obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) (OR: 1·9, P <0·002) were significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency in the adjusted multivariate regression analysis. Physical activity was associated with a decreased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Conclusions: Airflow limitation was not an independent determinant of vitamin D deficiency. The effect of weight loss and increased physical activity on vitamin D levels should be investigated further in intervention studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-963
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Airflow limitation
  • Airway obstruction
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Comorbidities
  • Physical activity
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry


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