Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with diabetes risk in native American children

Phyllis A. Nsiah-Kumi, Judi M. Erickson, Jennifer L. Beals, Eric A. Ogle, Mary Whiting, Connie Brushbreaker, Claudia D. Borgeson, Fang Qiu, Fang Yu, Jennifer L. Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Aims/Hypothesis. Vitamin D insufficiency has not been well studied in Native American (NA) children, who are at risk for obesity and diabetes. The authors examined vitamin D insufficiency and its association with body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance. Methods. In a cross-section of NA children 5 to 18 years old (N = 198), anthropometrics, biomarkers of insulin resistance, and 25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentration [25(OH) vitamin D] were measured. BMI% and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Results. Mean age was 10.8 ± 0.3 years (mean ± SEM). Mean serum 25(OH) vitamin D was 17.8 ± 0.4 ng/mL and 97% had vitamin D insufficiency [25(OH) vitamin D <30 ng/mL]. After adjusting for BMI, 25(OH) vitamin D was inversely associated with HOMA-IR (P <.0001) and several other markers of insulin resistance. Conclusions/Interpretation. Vitamin D insufficiency was nearly universal in this cohort of NA children and was associated with diabetes and vascular risk markers. Whether vitamin D supplementation can improve insulin resistance must be studied further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalClinical pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • 25(OH) vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • diabetes
  • insulin resistance
  • lipids
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes prevention
  • vascular risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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