Active Vitamin D (1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D) and Bone Health in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men: The European Male Aging Study (EMAS)

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

There is little information on the potential impact of serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] on bone health including turnover.

The objective of the study was to determine the influence of 1,25(OH)2D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] on bone health in middle-aged and older European men.

Men aged 40–79 years were recruited from population registers in 8 European centers. Subjects completed questionnaires that included questions concerning lifestyle and were invited to attend for quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the heel, assessment of height and weight, and a fasting blood sample from which 1,25(OH)2D, 25(OH)D, and PTH were measured. 1,25(OH)2D was measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Bone markers serum N-terminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen (P1NP) and crosslinks (ß-cTX) were also measured. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the hip and lumbar spine was performed in 2 centers.

QUS of the heel, bone markers P1NP and ß-cTX, and DXA of the hip and lumbar spine were measured.

A total of 2783 men, mean age 60.0 years (SD 11.0) were included in the analysis. After adjustment for age and center, 1,25(OH)2D was positively associated with 25(OH)D but not with PTH. 25(OH)D was negatively associated with PTH. After adjustment for age, center, height, weight, lifestyle factors, and season, 1,25(OH)2D was associated negatively with QUS and DXA parameters and associated positively with ß-cTX. 1,25(OH)2D was not correlated with P1NP. 25(OH)D was positively associated with the QUS and DXA parameters but not related to either bone turnover marker. Subjects with both high 1,25(OH)2D (upper tertile) and low 25(OH)D (lower tertile) had the lowest QUS and DXA parameters and the highest ß-cTX levels.

Serum 1,25(OH)2D is associated with higher bone turnover and poorer bone health despite being positively related to 25(OH)D. A combination of high 1,25(OH)2D and low 25(OH)D is associated with the poorest bone health.