Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Vitamin D insufficiency common among breast cancer survivors

New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a correlation between vitamin D levels and various stages of breast cancer development.

Vitamin D influences pathways related to cancer development, but little is currently known about vitamin D status in breast cancer survivors. Recent data taken from the Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL) study showed a correlation between vitamin D status and breast cancer survivors. Vitamin D concentrations from 790 female breast cancer survivors were obtained and vitamin D insufficiency was found in 597 individuals - or 75% of participants. Average vitamin D concentrations were even lower among African American and Hispanic women.

Controlling for various factors such as body mass index (BMI), race/ethnicity, geography, season, physical activity, diet, and cancer treatments showed that stage of disease independently predicted vitamin D levels.

In this group of breast cancer survivors the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency was abnormally high. Based on these results, health professionals and clinicians should consider monitoring vitamin D status in breast cancer patients in addition to administering appropriate cancer treatments.