Int J Med Sci 2015; 12(5):362-368. doi:10.7150/ijms.10540

Research Paper

Association of Vitamin D Levels with Type 2 Diabetes in Older Working Adults

Daniel Mauss1✉, Marc N. Jarczok1, Kristina Hoffmann1, G. Neil Thomas1,2, Joachim E. Fischer1

1. Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
2. Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


OBJECTIVES: Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D plays a role in the development of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes (DM). Aim of the study was to explore the association of vitamin D levels with prevalent DM in a sample of predominantly healthy working adults older than 45 years.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study (2009-2011) involved 1821 employees of a German engineering company (83.1% male, mean age 51.9 ±5.6 years). Sociodemographics and medical history were assessed by self-report. Clinical characteristics were obtained including blood samples to determine vitamin D levels and diabetes status by fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Vitamin D was grouped into one of four categories (<10 ng/ml, 10-19.9 ng/ml, 20-29.9 ng/ml, ≥30 ng/ml). Bivariate associations between vitamin D categories and a composite indicator for DM (FPG ≥126 mg/dl or HbA1c ≥6.5% or self-reported diagnosis) were calculated; multivariable models tested this association further, controlling for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Severe vitamin D deficiency (<10 ng/ml) was associated with increasing FPG (β 3.13; 95%CI: 0.78, 5.47; p≤0.01) and HbA1c (β 0.15; 95%CI: 0.08, 0.23; p≤0.001) values in adjusted linear regression models. In multivariable models, severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with DM (OR 2.55; 95%CI 1.16, 5.62; p≤0.05) after controlling for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with prevalent DM in working older adults. The findings highlight that the workplace may be a unique location for conducting large-scale health screening to identify those at risk of DM using vitamin D.

Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, employees, work health check

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How to cite this article:
Mauss D, Jarczok MN, Hoffmann K, Thomas GN, Fischer JE. Association of Vitamin D Levels with Type 2 Diabetes in Older Working Adults. Int J Med Sci 2015; 12(5):362-368. doi:10.7150/ijms.10540. Available from