Low Vitamin D Tied to Adiposity and High HDL in Children

White children with low vitamin D have more visceral fat; blacks have more subcutaneous fat

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are associated with high measures of adiposity and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in both black and white children, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Kumaravel Rajakumar, M.D., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues investigated the relationship between 25(OH)D status, total and abdominal adiposity, and serum lipids in 237 black and white children with an average age of 12.7 years. Adiposity, measured as body mass index (BMI), percentage of total body fat (percent BF), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and plasma 25(OH)D levels were evaluated in healthy obese and non-obese children.

The investigators found that the average 25(OH)D concentration for the study population was 19.4 ng/mL. Most children (73 percent of blacks and 40 percent of whites) were vitamin D deficient (25[OH]D < 20 ng/mL). In the cohort, plasma 25(OH)D was positively correlated with HDL cholesterol and inversely correlated with BMI, BMI percentile, percent BF, VAT, and SAT. Vitamin D-deficient white children had higher VAT, and black children had higher SAT, compared to their respective vitamin D non-deficient counterparts. The status of 25(OH)D was independently predicted by race, season, pubertal status, and VAT.

"In healthy obese and non-obese 8- to 18-year-old black and white youth, when examined together, we found an inverse gradient in the relationship between plasma 25(OH)D levels and clinical and laboratory measures of adiposity," the authors write.

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