Rheumatology International

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1461–1467 | Cite as

The predictive factors of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and vitamin D deficiency in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Kittiwan SumethkulEmail author
  • Smonporn Boonyaratavej
  • Tasanee Kitumnuaypong
  • Sungchai Angthararuk
  • Patcharin Cheewasat
  • Naruimon Manadee
  • Vasant Sumethkul
Original Article


Vitamin D is a steroid hormone with pleiotropic effects. The association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level [25(OH) D] and lupus nephritis are not clearly known. We aim to determine serum 25(OH) D levels in patients with inactive SLE, active SLE without lupus nephritis (LN) and active SLE with LN and to identify clinical predictor of vitamin D deficiency. One hundred and eight SLE patients were included. Patients were classified as Group (Gr) 1, 2 and 3 if they had SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) <3, ≥3 but no LN and ≥3 with LN. Important baseline characteristics were collected. 25(OH) D was measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). SLEDAI in Gr1, Gr2 and Gr3 was 0.7 (0.9), 5.6 (2.3) and 9.2 (5.2), respectively. 43.5 % had vitamin D insufficiency and 29.6 % had vitamin D deficiency. Mean 25(OH) D in each groups was 28.3 (8.0), 26.7 (9.5) and 19.9 (7.6) ng/ml (p < 0.001 comparing Gr1 and 3) (p = 0.003 comparing Gr2 and 3). Vitamin D deficiency was found in 11.1, 22.2 and 55.6 % of Gr1, 2 and 3. Linear regression analysis found that 25(OH) D was significantly correlated with serum albumin (r = 0.28, p = 0.004), inversely correlated with SLEDAI (r = −0.22, p = 0.03) and urinary protein creatinine index (UPCI) (r = −0.28, p = 0.005), but not with sun exposure score, body mass index and estimated GFR. Only UPCI was significantly inversely correlated with 25(OH) D (p = 0.02) from multiple linear regression. LN was a significant predictor of vitamin D deficiency from multivariate logistic regression (OR 5.97; p = 0.006). Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency was found in 93 and 86 % of LN with proteinuria ≥ and <500 mg/day. We conclude that SLE patients with LN have significantly lower vitamin D level than inactive SLE and active SLE without LN. Hence, nephritis is a significant predictor of vitamin D deficiency in SLE patients.


25-Hydroxyvitamin D Vitamin D deficiency Serum 25(OH) D Systemic lupus erythematosus Lupus nephritis Proteinuria 



This study was supported by The Research Fund of Rajavithi Hospital.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no disclosures or financial support relevance to this study to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kittiwan Sumethkul
    • 1
    Email author
  • Smonporn Boonyaratavej
    • 2
  • Tasanee Kitumnuaypong
    • 1
  • Sungchai Angthararuk
    • 1
  • Patcharin Cheewasat
    • 1
  • Naruimon Manadee
    • 1
  • Vasant Sumethkul
    • 3
  1. 1.Rheumatology Unit, Department of MedicineRajavithi HospitalBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Division of Cardiology, Faculty of MedicineChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Division of Nephrology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi HospitalMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand

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