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Severe vitamin D deficiency ups risk of diabetic foot ulcer

24 Apr 2019

Severe vitamin D deficiency may be detrimental to diabetic patients, with the condition increasing the risk of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), according to the results of a meta-analysis.

Researchers searched multiple online databases for nested case-control or cohort studies examining the relationship between serum vitamin D levels and DFU. The outcomes were serum vitamin D level or rate of severe vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25-OHD <10 ng/mL).

The meta-analysis included seven studies involving 1,115 diabetic patients. Pooled data revealed that serum vitamin D levels in 543 patients with DFU was significantly lower than in the 572 patients without the complication (mean difference [MD], −13.47 nmol/L; 95 percent CI, −16.84 to −10.10). There was no between-study heterogeneity among these studies (I2, 12 percent; p=0.34).

More patients with vs without DFU had severe vitamin D deficiency (48.98 vs 22.78 percent). On the forest plot, severe vitamin D deficiency (25-OHD <10 ng/mL) showed a significant association with the risk of DFU (odds ratio, 3.22; 2.42−4.28). No substantial heterogeneity was observed (I2, 0 percent; p=0.64).

The present data have important clinical implications as it may aid in the development of a new therapy for DFU, researchers said. Vitamin D supplementation may be a valid therapeutic option for diabetes with foot ulcer and vitamin D deficiency.

Further research is required to verify the effect of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention or treatment of DFU, they added.

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