Oral 61 Association of Mean Vitamin D Level With Clinical Status in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A 5 Year Prospective Study
Author insight from Toufic A. Kabbani, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
What’s new here and important for clinicians?
Our study is the first and largest study to prospectively examine the association between vitamin D levels and several important health indicators in patients with IBD. Based on a 5-year followup of about 1000 IBD patients, we found that a low vitamin D level status is associated with more frequent use of steroids, immunomodulators, and biologics. Moreover, patients with low vitamin D have more severe pain and require more prescriptions for narcotics compared to IBD subjects with normal vitamin D levels. In addition, these subjects tend to utilize the healthcare system more frequently as they require more CT scan imaging, ED visits and hospitalizations. Finally, IBD individuals with low vitamin D have worse disease scores and poorer quality of life compared to those with normal vitamin D levels. In summary, our study shows that a low vitamin D level status is an independent risk factor for worse disease activity and pain, higher healthcare utilization, and poorer quality of life.
Clinicians should aggressively monitor and replete vitamin D levels in vitamin D-deficient IBD patients as this could improve their quality of life, pain, and disease activity, and minimize healthcare and medication utilization.
What do patients need to know?
Recent advances in research demonstrate an important anti-inflammatory role of vitamin D in several inflammatory conditions including IBD. Not only is low vitamin D status a risk factor for osteopenia and osteoperosis, it is also a risk factor for worse IBD disease activity, more severe pain, higher healthcare utilization, and poorer quality of life. In other words, low vitamin D status is associated with poorer health indicators. Close monitoring of vitamin D levels and targeted therapy to treat low vitamin levels are of vital importance. We encourage all IBD patients with low vitamin D levels to consume vitamin D-fortified products, have sufficient sunshine exposure, and when needed, use vitamin D supplements.
Toufic A. Kabbani, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
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