Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in familial longevity: The Leiden Longevity Study

Canadian Medical Association Journal (Impact Factor: 5.96). 11/2012; 184(18). DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.120233
Source: PubMed


Low levels of 25(OH) vitamin D are associated with various age-related diseases and mortality, but causality has not been determined. We investigated vitamin D levels in the offspring of nonagenarians who had at least one nonagenarian sibling; these offspring have a lower prevalence of age-related diseases and a higher propensity to reach old age compared with their partners.

We assessed anthropometric characteristics, 25(OH) vitamin D levels, parathyroid hormone levels, dietary vitamin D intake and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with vitamin D levels. We included offspring (n = 1038) of nonagenarians who had at least one nonagenarian sibling, and the offsprings' partners (n = 461; controls) from the Leiden Longevity Study. We included age, sex, body mass index, month during which blood sampling was performed, dietary and supplemental vitamin D intake, and creatinine levels as possible confounding factors.

The offspring had significantly lower levels of vitamin D (64.3 nmol/L) compared with controls (68.4 nmol/L; p = 0.002), independent of possible confounding factors. There was no difference in the levels of parathyroid hormone between groups. Compared with controls, the offspring had a lower frequency of a genetic variant in the CYP2R1 gene (rs2060793) (p = 0.04). The difference in vitamin D levels between offspring and controls persisted over the 2 most prevalent genotypes of this SNP.

Compared with controls, the offspring of nonagenarians who had at least one nonagenarian sibling had a reduced frequency of a common variant in the CYP2R1 gene, which predisposes people to high vitamin D levels; they also had lower levels of vitamin D that persisted over the 2 most prevalent genotypes. These results cast doubt on the causal nature of previously reported associations between low levels of vitamin D and age-related diseases and mortality.

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    • "A comprehensive review by Autier et al. [65] concluded that low concentrations of 25(OH)D are most likely an effect of health disorders and not a cause of illness. Commenting on the findings in a press statement, Autier et al. [64] advised against vitamin D supplementation and explained the observed discrepancy between observational and randomized trials: "
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