Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 152–159 | Cite as

Lack of Association Between Vitamin D and Hand Grip Strength in Asians: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

  • Beom-Jun KimEmail author
  • Mi Kyung Kwak
  • Seung Hun Lee
  • Jung-Min Koh
Original Research


Despite the beneficial role and plausible mechanism of vitamin D on skeletal muscle in animal studies, its association in humans remains a controversial issue due to inconsistent clinical results, especially in older Asians. This was a population-based, cross-sectional study from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which enrolled 354 men aged ≥ 50 years and 328 postmenopausal women. Hand grip strength (HGS) was measured using a digital grip strength dynamometer. Low muscle strength was defined based on Korean-specific cut-off point of HGS. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels were 19.4 ± 6.7 and 17.1 ± 7.2 ng/mL in men and women, respectively. Among covariates including age, body mass index, lifestyle factors, and protein intake, age was inversely associated with HGS in both men and women, and protein intake (g/day) was positively associated with HGS only in men. However, the independent correlation between serum 25(OH)D and HGS was not observed, regardless of gender. When subjects were divided into three groups [deficient (25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL; 63.8%), insufficient (20 ≤ 25(OH)D < 30 ng/mL; 30.0%), or sufficient (25(OH)D ≥ 30 ng/mL; 6.2%)], there was no significant difference in HGS among these groups in both men and women. Consistently, serum 25(OH)D was not significantly different between subjects with and without low muscle strength, and there was no independent association of serum 25(OH)D with the risk of low muscle strength in both genders. These findings provide clinical evidence that protective role of vitamin D on human muscle metabolism may not be evident at least in older Asians.


Vitamin D Hand grip strength Muscle strength Sarcopenia 



This study was supported by a Grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Project No. HI14C2185).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Beom‑Jun Kim, Mi Kyung Kwak, Seung Hun Lee and Jung‑Min Koh have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

The study complies with the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (approval number: 2013-12EXP-03-5C). All participants in the study provided written informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beom-Jun Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mi Kyung Kwak
    • 1
  • Seung Hun Lee
    • 1
  • Jung-Min Koh
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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