There is a high prevalence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) deficiency in older men who have radiographic hip osteoarthritis (OA). Because 25(OH)D plays a significant role in bone and cartilage maintenance, therapeutic interventions with vitamin D are warranted to augment their skeletal health.
Chaganti and colleagues measured serum levels of vitamin D in 1104 participants in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study; almost 5 years later, they obtained pelvic radiographs and examined them for evidence of hip OA. The investigators used logistic regression to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D levels and hip OA and looked at other variables, including the patient’s age, self-reported hip pain and health status, and timed 6-meter walk.
Vitamin D deficiency was clearly and significantly linked with hip OA. Men who lacked vitamin D had a 2-fold increased likelihood of prevalent radiographic hip OA. They also had more hip pain and a slower walk time. Men who had radiographic hip OA had a higher prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and frank deficiency compared with the men who did not.
The authors noted that the association of low 25(OH)D levels with prevalent radiographic hip OA underscores the important role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of OA.