University of Oulu

Mutt, S.J.; Jokelainen, J.; Sebert, S.; Auvinen, J.; Järvelin, M.-R.; Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, S.; Herzig, K.-H. Vitamin D Status and Components of Metabolic Syndrome in Older Subjects from Northern Finland (Latitude 65°North). Nutrients 2019, 11, 1229

Vitamin D status and components of metabolic syndrome in older subjects from northern Finland (latitude 65° north)

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Author: Mutt, Shivaprakash Jagalur1,2,3; Jokelainen, Jari4,5; Sebert, Sylvain3,4,6;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine, Department of Physiology, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center (MRC), University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Biocenter of Oulu, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
5Unit of General Practice, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
6Department of Genomics of Complex Diseases, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
7Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
8Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
9Department of Children, Young People and Families, National Institute for Health and Welfare, 90101 Oulu, Finland
10Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and MRC-PHE Center for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
11Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 61-701 Poznan, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-28


Introduction: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the increased risk of several chronic diseases, especially in people living in the Northern Latitudes. The aim of this study was to assess the vitamin D status in older subjects born in 1945 in Northern Finland (latitude 65°North), and to examine its associations to components of metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we invited 904 subjects born in 1945 from the Oulu region (Oulu45 cohort), out of an original cohort of 1332 subjects. In the cohort, plasma 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels were determined by an enzyme immunoassay of 263 men and 373 women, with a mean age baseline of 69±0.5 years old. We assessed the participants’ usage of vitamin D supplements, as well as their lifestyle factors, using a questionnaire.

Results: Nearly 80% of the subjects had low vitamin D levels [either vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/L) or insufficient (50–75 nmol/L)], and only 20% of the participants had sufficient vitamin D levels (>75 nmol/L) (based on the American Endocrine Society guidelines). The low vitamin D status was associated with a high prevalence of MetS; a significantly higher number of subjects with MetS (41%) had low vitamin D levels in comparison to the non-MetS subjects (38%) (p ≤ 0.05). The subjects under vitamin D supplementation had a significantly lower incidence of MetS (42.6% vs 57.4%) and its components in comparison to the non-supplemented subjects (p ≤ 0.05).

Conclusions: Low vitamin D levels are a risk factor for MetS amongst other lifestyle factors, such as dietary habits and physical inactivity, among older subjects in the Northern Latitudes (65°North). Optimal supplementation of vitamin D, along with rich dietary sources of vitamin D, are highly recommended for older subjects as a means to positively affect, e.g., hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity, as components of the MetS.

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Series: Nutrients
ISSN: 2072-6643
ISSN-E: 2072-6643
ISSN-L: 2072-6643
Volume: 11
Issue: 6
Article number: 1229
DOI: 10.3390/nu11061229
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3141 Health care science
Funding: The study was funded in part by University of Oulu Hospital Fund and the Finnish Cultural Foundation – Central fund.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (