Summary Background: The high prevalence of both hypovitaminosis D and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in the Asian community is well recognised, but the impact of diabetes on vitamin D status and vice versa, has not been well reported.

Aims: To determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in Asian patients with T2DM and its impact on glycaemic control. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary referral centre in the UK. Two hundred and ten Asian patients aged more than 40 years were included (170 with and 40 without T2DM). Each had a standard bone profile (serum calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase), serum parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol.

Results: The prevalence of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (< 50 nmol/l) was high in the group as a whole (> 80%) and more common in diabetics compared with controls (83% vs. 70%; p = 0.07). This was particularly so in men (82.5% vs. 57.9%; p = 0.02). HbA1c was higher in women with vitamin D deficiency (< 12.5 nmol/l) (8.11 +/- 1.11% vs. 7.33 +/- 1.32%, p = 0.046). In logistic regression analysis, T2DM was an independent predictor of hypovitaminosis D. In linear regression analysis, vitamin D deficiency was independently related to HbA1c in women with T2DM.

Conclusions: Hypovitaminosis D remains a major public health issue in the Asian population and is exaggerated in patients with T2DM. The fact that vitamin D deficient women had higher HbA1c levels raises the possibility that vitamin D replacement may improve glycaemic control.

Keywords: Type 2 Diabetes, Glycemic Control, Hypovitaminosis D - Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxyvitamin D