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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Atherton 2009.

Vitamin D and chronic widespread pain in a white middle-aged British population: evidence from a cross-sectional population survey

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Tags: treatment, vitamin D, muscle pain, chronic pain, medications, nutrition, self-treatment, muscle, pain problems

PainSci summary of Atherton 2009?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This UK study of more than six thousands Scottish and Welsh patients found an association between chronic widespread pain and vitamin D status in women. It could be partially explained by differences in lifestyle or social factors, but not fully. This data did not show the same connection in men.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Identified aetiological factors for chronic widespread pain (CWP) are largely related to emotional and behavioural factors, but current management leads to modest improvement in symptoms. Vitamin D deficiency has been suggested as a new modifiable risk factor for CWP.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between vitamin D status (measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)) and CWP in a nationwide population sample of white British adults, accounting for potential mediating and confounding lifestyle factors.

METHODS: 9377 participants born 1 week in March 1958, in England, Scotland or Wales and completing a biomedical assessment at age 45; 6824 eligible participants had data on 25(OH)D and completed pain manikins.

RESULTS: Prevalence of CWP varied by 25(OH)D concentration in women but not in men, with the lowest prevalence observed for women with 75-99 nmol/l (14.4% for <25 nmol/l, 14.8% for 25-49 nmol/l, 11.6% for 50-74 nmo/l, 8.2% for 75-99 nmol/l and 9.8% for participants with > or =100 nmol/l). There was an interaction between 25(OH)D concentration and gender in relation to CWP (interaction, p = 0.006), which was not fully explained by differences in lifestyle or social factors (adjusted interaction, p = 0.03). For women, the association between 25(OH)D concentration and CWP persisted after full adjustment (odds ratio (OR) for <75 nmol/l vs 75-99 nmol/l 1.57, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.26), while no evidence for an association was apparent in men (OR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.43).

CONCLUSION: Current vitamin D status was associated with CWP in women but not in men. Follow-up studies are needed to evaluate whether higher vitamin D intake might have beneficial effects on the risk of CWP.

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