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The association between vitamin D concentration and pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Zhenqiang Wu (a1), Zarintaj Malihi (a1), Alistair W Stewart (a1), Carlene MM Lawes (a1) and Robert Scragg (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

Pain-related conditions, such as chronic widespread pain and fibromyalgia, are major burdens for individuals and the health system. Evidence from previous research on the association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and pain is conflicting. Thus, we aimed to determine if there is an association between mean 25(OH)D concentration (primary aim), or proportion of hypovitaminosis D (secondary aim), and pain conditions in observational studies.

Design

Published observational research on 25(OH)D concentration and pain-related conditions was systematically searched for in electronic sources (MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) and a random-effects meta-analysis was conducted on included studies.

Results

Eighty-one observational studies with a total of 50 834 participants were identified. Compared with controls, mean 25(OH)D concentration was significantly lower in patients with arthritis (mean difference (MD): −12·34 nmol/l; P<0·001), muscle pain (MD: −8·97 nmol/l; P=0·003) and chronic widespread pain (MD: −7·77 nmol/l; P<0·001), but not in patients with headache or migraine (MD: −2·53 nmol/l; P=0·06). The odds of vitamin D deficiency was increased for arthritis, muscle pain and chronic widespread pain, but not for headache or migraine, compared with controls. Sensitivity analyses revealed similar results.

Conclusions

A significantly lower 25(OH)D concentration was observed in patients with arthritis, muscle pain and chronic widespread pain, compared with those without. These results suggest that low 25(OH)D concentrations may be associated with pain conditions.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email r.scragg@auckland.ac.nz

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The association between vitamin D concentration and pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Zhenqiang Wu (a1), Zarintaj Malihi (a1), Alistair W Stewart (a1), Carlene MM Lawes (a1) and Robert Scragg (a1)...

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