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Genetic and environmental predictors of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations among middle-aged and elderly Chinese in Singapore

  • Kim Robien (a1) (a2), Lesley M. Butler (a3), Renwei Wang (a4), Kenneth B. Beckman (a5), Dinesha Walek (a5), Woon-Puay Koh (a6) and Jian-Min Yuan (a4) (a7)...

Vitamin D is known for maintaining Ca homeostasis and bone structure, and may also decrease susceptibility to chronic and infectious diseases. However, data on vitamin D status and its predictors among Southeast Asian populations are limited. We evaluated the distribution and determinants (genetic and environmental) of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations among 504 middle-aged and elderly participants (aged 45–74 years) in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Data on dietary and other lifestyle factors were collected by trained interviewers. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations and genetic polymorphisms in vitamin D metabolism pathway enzymes (cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2R1, 3A4, 27B1, 24A1; vitamin D binding protein (also known as group-specific component, GC); and vitamin D receptor) were measured using stored biospecimens. Mean 25(OH)D concentration was 68·8 nmol/l. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were positively associated with dietary vitamin D intake, and inversely associated with hours spent sitting at work. BMI was not associated with 25(OH)D concentrations. CYP2R1 rs10741657, rs12794714, rs1993116; CYP3A4 rs2242480; and GC rs4588, rs7041, rs16847015, rs2298849 were statistically significantly associated with 25(OH)D concentrations. Individuals with the Gc2-2 haplotype (rs4588AA/rs7041TT) had statistically significantly lower 25(OH)D concentrations compared to all other Gc haplotypes (P-trend < 0·001). The majority of participants (86 %) had 25(OH)D concentrations ≥ 50 nmol/l, which is consistent with the 2011 Institute of Medicine (US) recommendation for bone health, and 32 % had concentrations of ≥ 75 nmol/l that are thought to be required for broader health effects. Dietary vitamin D intake, hours spent indoors at work and genetic variation in CYP2R1, CYP3A4 and GC are significant predictors of 25(OH)D concentrations among Singapore Chinese.

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*Corresponding author: Dr K. Robien, fax +1 612 624 0315, E-mail:
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