Do Serum Vitamin D Levels Influence Colorectal Cancer Risk and Survival?

Pavankumar Kamat

April 12, 2021

Higher pre-diagnostic levels of serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) are associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and improved CRC survival, a new study published in the  International Journal of Cancer  suggests.

Researchers prospectively assessed the association between CRC risk and season-standardised serum 25(OH)D concentrations in 360,061 participants from the UK Biobank. The association between 25(OH)D and CRC survival was assessed in 2509 patients with CRC.

There was an inverse linear relationship between 25(OH)D concentrations and the risk of CRC (Plinearity=.01; HR per 1-standard deviation [SD] increment, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-0.99). The highest quartile of 25(OH)D concentrations had a 13 per cent lower risk of CRC (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.98) versus the lowest quartile.

In terms of survival, the HRs per 1-SD increment in 25(OH)D concentrations for overall mortality and CRC-specific mortality were 0.92 (95% CI, 0.85-0.99) and 0.94 (95% CI, 0.86-1.03), respectively. The highest quartile of 25(OH)D concentrations had a 20 per cent lower risk for overall mortality (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.65-0.99) and 15 per cent lower risk for CRC-specific mortality (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.66-1.10).

"The findings suggest that vitamin D has a role in the pathogenesis of CRC, supporting future trials to assess the effects of vitamin D supplementation on CRC risk and prognosis," the authors concluded.

Zhou J, Ge X, Fan X, Wang J, Miao L, Hang D. Associations of vitamin D status with colorectal cancer risk and survival. Int J Cancer. 2021 Mar 30 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33580. PMID: 33783821 View abstract 

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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