Urban-rural differences explain the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and insulin resistance in Korea.

Research paper by Bo Mi BM Song, Yumie Y Rhee, Chang Oh CO Kim, Yoosik Y Youm, Kyoung Min KM Kim, Eun Young EY Lee, Ju-Mi JM Lee, Young Mi YM Yoon, Hyeon Chang HC Kim

Indexed on: 17 Dec '14Published on: 17 Dec '14Published in: Nutrients


An increasing number of studies report associations between low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level and insulin resistance; however, whether low vitamin D levels directly contribute to increased insulin resistance is unclear. We investigated the impact of residential area on the association between 25(OH)D and insulin resistance in elderly Koreans. Using data from the Korean Urban Rural Elderly study, we conducted cross-sectional analyses in 1628 participants (505 men and 1123 women). Serum 25(OH)D was analyzed as both continuous and categorized variables. Homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated using fasting blood glucose and insulin levels. In men, 25(OH)D level was inversely associated with HOMA-IR (standardized β = -0.133, p < 0.001) after adjustment for age, body mass index, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, and study year. However, we noted significant urban-rural differences in 25(OH)D level (43.4 versus 65.6 nmol/L; p < 0.001) and HOMA-IR (1.2 versus 0.8 mmol · pmol/L2; p < 0.001). When we additionally adjusted for residential area, the association between 25(OH)D and HOMA-IR was attenuated (standardized β = -0.063, p = 0.115). In women, the association between 25(OH)D and HOMA-IR was not significant before or after adjustment for residential area. Environmental or lifestyle differences in urban and rural areas may largely explain the inverse association between serum 25(OH)D and insulin resistance.