Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Acute and Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

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Principal Investigator Name
Gregory Nemunaitis, M.D.
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Target Population(s):
SCI Patients Admitted to Acute Rehab
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Objective: To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with acute and chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation service and identify injury related characteristics that predict variations in serum Vitamin D, 25-OH (VitD-25(OH)) level. Design: Retrospective case series Setting: Academic inpatient SCI rehabilitation program Participants/Methods: One hundred consecutive patients with SCI admitted to inpatient rehabilitation. Data was abstracted from patients’ medical chart. Frequencies, means and standard deviations, Pearson Correlation, and Linear Regression were used to analyze the data. Intervention: Not applicable Main Outcome Measure: VitD-25(OH) level Results: 94/100 SCI patients admitted between January 2007 and December 2007 had VitD- 25(OH) concentrations below the optimal value of 30ng/mL. The mean VitD-25(OH) level was 16.29 ± 7.73 ng/mL with a range from 7.00 to 36.80 ng/ml. Blacks had statistically significant lower mean VitD-25(OH) levels compared to Whites (12.96 vs. 17.79 ng/mL, p =.001). Three stage linear regression identified race as the only factor to have a statistically significant relationship with VitD-25(OH) concentration (b= -4.800, p = .005). Conclusions: The prevalence of VitD-25(OH) deficiency was 94% in this sample of patients with SCI. Blacks had lower VitD-25(OH) concentrations compared to Whites. Age, gender, etiology, level and completeness of lesion, winter season and number of days since injury were not associated with VitD-25(OH) levels. Surveillance of VitD-25(OH) should be part of routine health exams for persons with SCI as this study shows all persons with SCI had below optimal VitD-25 (OH) levels, which may be contributing to the high incidence of osteoporosis in this group.