FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) and low back pain (LBP) in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Menopause.

Hao-Wei Xu, M.D., from Tongji University School of Medicine in Shanghai, and colleagues examined the relationship between serum vitamin D concentration and LDD in 232 postmenopausal women.

The researchers found that the prevalence rates of severe vitamin D deficiency (<10 ng/mL) and normal status (>30 ng/mL) were 12.9 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. Compared with other groups, the severely deficient group had higher visual analog scale scores for LBP and lower bone mineral density T scores. There was a significant association between lower 25(OH)D concentration (<10 ng/mL) and more severe LDD in the lumbosacral region, but less so in the upper lumbar region. Vitamin D concentration was inversely associated with the severity of disc degeneration. Smoking, vitamin D deficiency, lack of vitamin D supplementation, high body mass index, and low bone mineral density T score were associated with a higher incidence of moderate-to-severe pain in postmenopausal women in an adjusted analysis.

“Although not all women need vitamin D supplementation, this speaks to the importance of avoiding severe vitamin D deficiency states,” Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement.

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