Vitamin D and PTH - seasonal and age-related variations

Monika H.E. Christensen1,*, Ernst A. Lien1, Steinar Hustad2, Bjørg Almås1

1Hormone Laboratory, Haukeland University Hospital, 2Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal and age-related variation of vitamin D and PTH serum concentrations in a large general patient population in Western Norway.

Design: A retrospective study was conducted at the Hormone laboratory, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen. All analyses of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) (n = 8325), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) (n = 4509) and PTH (n = 4203) requested from private practitioners from 2005 to 2008 were included. All three analytes were available in 1551 subjects.

Subjects: Mean age of the study population was 49.8 years and 70.9% of the samples were from women.

Results: The highest concentrations of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D were observed in July-September. In April 43% of the studied population had 25(OH)D concentrations below 50 nmol/L. There was a positive correlation between 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D (p < 0.001). The levels of 25(OH)D and PTH were negatively correlated (p < 0.001) while 1,25(OH)2D and PTH showed a weak positive correlation (p = 0.015). We observed higher concentrations of 25(OH)D (p = 0,003) and lower 1,25(OH)2D levels (p < 0,001) in the older age groups. PTH increased throughout the whole age span (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: We observed a seasonal variation in 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D with low serum concentrations during winter/early spring while  PTH showed an inverse pattern. Higher levels of PTH in winter and the elderly may reflect an impaired vitamin D status that may affect calcium homeostasis and bone health.

Keywords: None