Serum Vitamin D and Age-Related Muscle Loss in Afro-Caribbean Men: The Importance of Age and Diabetic Status

  • J. Hwang
  • J. M. Zmuda
  • A. L. Kuipers
  • C. H. Bunker
  • A. J. Santanasto
  • V. W. Wheeler
  • Iva Miljkovic
Original Research



Prospective studies examining the potential association of vitamin D with age-related muscle loss have shown inconsistent results.


To examine the association between baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), and prospective change in lean mass with aging in African ancestry population. We also determined if associations were modulated by age and diabetes mellitus (DM). Design: Prospective observational cohort study.


Data were collected from a random sub-sample of 574 men, participants of the Tobago Bone Health Study (TBHS).


574 Afro-Caribbean men, aged 43+ years (mean age: 59.1 ± 10.5), who were randomly selected as the participants in both the baseline and the follow-up visits.


Baseline fasting serum 25(OH)D was measured using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and and 1,25(OH)2D was measured using radioimmunosassay (RIA). Changes in dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-measured appendicular lean mass (ALM), and total body lean mass (TBLM) were measured over an average of 6.0 ± 0.5 years. The associations of 25(OH) D and 1,25(OH)2D with ALM and TBLM were assessed by multiple linear regression model after adjusting for potential confounders.


When stratifying all men into two groups by age, greater baseline 25(OH) D and 1,25(OH)2D levels were associated with smaller losses of ALM and TBLM in older (age 60+ years) but not in younger (age 43–59 years) men. When stratifying by DM status, the associations of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D with declines in ALM and TBLM were statistically significant only in prediabetic, but not among normal glycemic or diabetic men.


Higher endogenous vitamin D concentrations are associated with less lean mass loss with aging among older and prediabetic Afro-Caribbean men independent of potential confounders. Our findings raise a possibility that maintaining high serum vitamin D level might be important for musculoskeletal health in elderly and prediabetic African ancestry men.

Key words

Lean mass loss skeletal muscle aging diabetes sarcopenia 


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Copyright information

© Serdi Edition 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hwang
    • 1
  • J. M. Zmuda
    • 1
  • A. L. Kuipers
    • 1
  • C. H. Bunker
    • 1
  • A. J. Santanasto
    • 1
  • V. W. Wheeler
    • 2
  • Iva Miljkovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Tobago Health Studies OfficeScarborough, TobagoTrinidad & Tobago

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