Vitamin D status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: correlation analysis with disease activity and progression, as well as serum IL-6 levels

  • Kinga Polasik
  • Ewa Piotrowska
  • Barbara Lipińska
  • Jacek M Witkowski
  • Ewa Bryl
  • Stefan Tukaj Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin D deficiency, 25(OH)D, IL-6


Objectives. Recent epidemiological studies suggested an association between a poor vitamin D [25(OH)D] status, inflammatory mediators, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We have recently proposed that pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 (IL-6) may represent a good marker for disease activity of RA (Acta Biochim Pol 57: 327-32). The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between serum 25(OH)D levels and disease activity, joint damage, as well as serum IL-6 levels in a Polish RA population. Materials and methods. Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured in 35 female RA patients and 38 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Statistical correlations between 25(OH)D levels and disease activity score 28 (DAS 28), joint damage based on Steinbrocker criteria, as well as serum IL-6 levels were performed. Results. There was no statistical significant difference between levels of 25(OH)D in RA (16.89 ± 8.57 ng/ml) and healthy controls (14.12 ± 7.51 ng/ml) and the vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) was found in 71.43% of RA patients and 73.68 % of healthy controls. While vitamin D status did not correlate with DAS 28 (r= 0.265, p=0.149) and joint damage based on Steinbrocker criteria (r=0.367, p=0.065), a positive correlation between 25(OH)D and IL-6 (r=0.537, p=0.002) was observed in RA. Conclusion. Hypovitaminosis D is common in RA patients and middle-aged non-RA healthy women in the Polish population. 25(OH)D levels were similar in RA patients and age- and gender-matched healthy controls and were not associated with joint damage and disease activity in patients. 


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