Severe vitamin D deficiency linked to lower back pain, lumbar disc degeneration

  • Xu HW & al.
  • Menopause
  • 10/02/2020

  • Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Postmenopausal women with severe vitamin D deficiency or a lack of vitamin D supplementation had a significantly increased risk of lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) and lower back pain (LBP) in this observational study.

Why this matters

  • Hypovitaminosis D is common in postmenopausal women.
  • Serum vitamin D concentration

Study design

  • Study of 232 postmenopausal women (mean age, 65.6±10.1 [45-90] years) collected during 2017-2018.
  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China; others.

Key results

  • 12.9% had severe deficiency, 74.6% had deficiency/insufficiency, and 12.5% had normal levels of vitamin D.
  • Patients in severe deficiency group vs those in other groups had:
    • Higher visual analog scale scores for LBP (P=.002) and bone mineral density (P=.004).
    • Severe LDD in the lumbosacral region (L4/5, L5/S1; P<.05>
  • An inverse correlation was observed between vitamin D level and severity of disc degeneration (L2/3, L4/5, L5/S1; P>.05).
  • High incidence of moderate-to-severe pain was associated with:  
    • Smoking (P=.035).
    • Severe vitamin D deficiency (P=.008).
    • Lack of vitamin D supplementation (P=.009).
    • Vitamin D deficiency (P=.032).
    • Osteoporosis (P=.007).

Limitations

  • Retrospective study design.
  • Small number of participants.