Severe vitamin D deficiency predicts mortality in cirrhosis patients during more than a year of follow-up
April 05 2019. Results from a meta-analysis published on March 29, 2019 in Clinical Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology found an association between severe vitamin D deficiency in patients with cirrhosis of the liver and a significantly greater risk of dying during follow-up periods ranging from 147 to 419 days.
Researchers at First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University selected eight studies that included a total of 1,339 men and women with liver cirrhosis for the meta-analysis. Study reports included subjects’ serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and provided data concerning mortality from all causes. While vitamin D levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) were categorized as deficient, severe deficiency was defined as a level of less than 10 ng/mL.
Being severely deficient in vitamin D was associated with a 79% greater risk of dying from any cause during follow-up in comparison with having higher levels of the vitamin. Deficiency of less than 6 ng/mL was associated with an even greater risk. Severe vitamin D deficiency was also associated with cirrhosis severity.
“The association between severe vitamin D deficiency and the risk of mortality suggests that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level can be used as a new marker to identify liver cirrhosis patients at high risk of mortality and that vitamin D supplementation may be helpful for reducing the risk of mortality,” Fuwei Yang and colleagues write.
“Our meta-analysis showed that severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with a higher risk of mortality in patients with liver cirrhosis,” they conclude. “Our results also support the recommendation for vitamin D supplementation in liver cirrhosis and highlight the urgent need for further randomized controlled trials to evaluate the impact of vitamin D supplementation on the prognosis of patients with liver cirrhosis.”