Is Serum Hypovitaminosis D Associated with Chronic Widespread Pain Including Fibromyalgia? A Meta-analysis of Observational Studies
One article on PainSci cites Hsiao 2015: Vitamin D for Pain
PainSci commentary on Hsiao 2015: ?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 wherever possible.
This is a review of a dozen studies of the link between vitamin D and chronic widespread pain. They identified a “crude association” between them which was “likely to remain after adjusting confounding factors.”
(One of the best such studies, McCabe et al published a year after this review, failed to find a clear independent link: it weakened after the elimination of obese and depressed subjects, which are known risk factors for chronic pain.)
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts 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: Chronic widespread pain (CWP) is a global musculoskeletal disorder leading to disability and a reduced quality of life. Low levels of serum vitamin D has long been proposed to be associated with CWP, but previous research remains inconclusive.
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether hypovitaminosis D was independently associated with CWP.
STUDY DESIGN: Meta-analysis of observational study.
METHODS: Electronic databases were searched for studies published up to November 2014 comparing the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D and serum vitamin D levels between participants with and without CWP. The crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of hypovitaminosis D with CWP were calculated. Subgroup analysis according to gender, threshold of hypovitaminosis, and definition of patients was performed, as well as meta-regression to test the linear relationship between crude ORs and the latitude of study locations.
RESULTS: Twelve studies were included, comprising 1,854 patients with CWP. The patient group showed a significantly higher risk of hypovitaminosis D than the control group (crude OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.20-2.23). The association was slightly attenuated after adjusting confounders, with a pooled adjusted OR of 1.41 (95% CI, 1.00-2.00). There was an increase in ORs of hypovitaminosis D using a lower diagnostic value of serum vitamin D (8 and 10 ng/mL). The subgroup analysis according to gender and definition of CWP did not reveal significant between-group differences. The meta-regression showed no linear relationship between latitude and the crude ORs.
CONCLUSIONS: There was a positive crude association between hypovitaminosis D and CWP, and the association was likely to remain after adjusting confounding factors. Use of a cut-off value of hypovitaminosis D (8-10 ng/mL) could better define the population with and without CWP. Further prospective follow-up studies are warranted to clarify the causal relationship between hypovitaminosis D and CWP.
- “Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Wu et al, Pain Physician, 2016.
- “Low vitamin D and the risk of developing chronic widespread pain: results from the European male ageing study,” McCabe et al, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2016.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Inciting events associated with lumbar disc herniation. Suri 2010 Spine J.
- Prediction of an extruded fragment in lumbar disc patients from clinical presentations. Pople 1994 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.
- Is there a relationship between throbbing pain and arterial pulsations? Mirza 2012 J Neurosci.