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Original Contribution
March 2011

High Prevalence of Hypovitaminosis D Status in Patients With Early Parkinson Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neurology (Drs Evatt and DeLong), Medicine (Drs Kumari and Tangpricha), and Endocrinology (Dr Tangpricha), Emory University School of Medicine, and Neurology Service (Dr Evatt) and Endocrinology Service (Dr Tangpricha), Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia; and School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York (Ms Auinger and Dr McDermott).Group Information: A list of the Parkinson Study Group DATATOP Investigators was published in Parkinson Study Group. Effects of tocopherol and deprenyl on the progression of disability in early Parkinson's disease. N Engl J Med. 1993;328(3):176-183.

Arch Neurol. 2011;68(3):314-319. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.30
Abstract

Background  Vitamin D insufficiency has been reported to be more common in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) than in healthy control subjects, but it is not clear whether having a chronic disease causing reduced mobility contributes to this relatively high prevalence.

Objective  To examine the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in a cohort of untreated patients with early PD (diagnosed within 5 years of study entry).

Design, Setting, and Patients  The Deprenyl and Tocopherol Antioxidative Therapy of Parkinsonism (DATATOP) cohort is a well-characterized cohort of subjects with early, nondisabling PD. The cohort is well suited for examining the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency early in the course of the disease. We conducted a survey study of vitamin D status in stored blood samples from patients with PD enrolled in the placebo group of the DATATOP trial. Samples from baseline visits and end point/final visits (mean [SD], 18.9 [13.1] months) were analyzed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration in blinded fashion.

Main Outcome Measures  The mean vitamin D concentration and the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency at baseline and end point/final visits.

Results  Among 199 subjects, 170 (85.4%) had samples from the baseline and end point visits available for analysis; 13 were excluded (10 with low probability of having PD and 3 with 25[OH]D concentrations >3 SDs above the mean). In the remaining 157 subjects, the mean (SD) 25(OH)D concentrations at the baseline and end point visits were 26.3 (8.6) ng/mL and 31.3 (9.0) ng/mL, respectively (to convert to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 2.496). The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (25[OH]D concentration <30.0 ng/mL) was 69.4% at baseline and 51.6% at the end point.

Conclusions  The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in patients with early PD was similar to or higher than those reported in previous studies. Vitamin D concentrations did not decline during progression of PD. Further studies are needed to elucidate the natural history and significance of vitamin D insufficiency in PD.

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