Both vitamin D deficiency and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome have been observed among postmenopausal women in India, but so far, there has been no formal research on the link between metabolic syndrome and vitamin D status.
Researchers in India conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and vitamin D status, as well as their relationship, among postmenopausal women in rural West Bengal.
They randomly selected 222 postmenopausal women and assessed their serum vitamin D levels, blood pressure, waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, triglyceride levels, and HDL cholesterol.
Not enough D
The researchers noted that 70% of the participants suffered from either vitamin D insufficiency (51%) or deficiency (19%).
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome among them was 46%. Of these women, 75% exhibited vitamin D insufficiency (22%) or deficiency (53%).
In addition, 68% of those with a waist circumference of 80cm or more were vitamin D-insufficient or deficient. The same was observed in 84% of those with a fasting blood glucose measurement of 110mg/dl, 75% of those with a triglyceride level of 150mg/dl, 74% of those with HDL cholesterol level of below 50mg/dl, and 70% of those with a blood pressure of 130/85 or higher.
There was also a "significant positive correlation" between waist circumference and vitamin D levels, and a "significant negative correlation" between fasting blood glucose and vitamin D levels.
Potential risk factor
After referencing previous studies, the researchers further wrote: "All these reports, as well as findings from the present study indicate that the cause of metabolic syndrome and the abnormalities of its components was due to low circulating vitamin D."
They added that whether or metabolic syndrome and its components — waist circumference in particular — are responsible for reducing circulating vitamin D should be explored.
They then concluded: "High prevalence of metabolic syndrome, as well as vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, existed among postmenopausal women of Singur block, West Bengal, India.
"Vitamin D level has (a) significant inverse relationship with blood glucose level and direct relationship with waist circumference. Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, therefore, may be one of the potential risk factors for developing metabolic syndrome in the studied population or vice versa."
Source: PLOS ONE
"Prevalence and association of metabolic syndrome and vitamin D deficiency among postmenopausal women in a rural block of West Bengal, India"
Authors: Soumi Srimani, et al.