Vitamin D deficiency common in liver, IBD patients

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 27, 2008

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Those with liver or inflammatory bowel disease are at risk for low vitamin D levels, according to a pair of studies presented in October at the 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Orlando, Fla.

For one paper, investigators analyzed data on 504 patients with some form of inflammatory bowel disease. Nearly 50% were deficient, and this finding was associated with a lower quality of life.

"All IBD patients ... should have their vitamin D levels checked regularly and corrected aggressively when insufficiency is found," said Alex Ulitsky, MD, lead author and a researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Madison.

For the other study, scientists measured vitamin D levels in the blood of 118 chronic liver disease patients. More than 92% were deficient, and severe depletion was more common in those with cirrhosis of this organ.

"Since deficiency is common among these patients, vitamin D replacement may hopefully prevent osteoporosis and other bone complications related to end-stage liver disease," said Satheesh P. Nair, MD, one of the author and associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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