Low serum Vitamin D: A surrogate marker for advanced colon adenoma?

Imad I. Ahmad, Guru Trikudanathan, Richard Feinn, Joseph C. Anderson, Marie Nicholson, Samantha Lowe, Joel B. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aims: To examine the association between low 25-OH Vitamin D levels and prevalence of advanced adenomas (AAs) in screening/surveillance colonoscopy patients. Rationale: Low serum 25-OH Vitamin D has been associated with an increased risk for colon cancer. In the Adenoma-Carcinoma pathway, a subset of colon polyps (AA) have been regarded as high-risk precursor lesions. We used a retrospective case-control design to examine the association between Vitamin D deficiency and the prevalence of AA in a high-risk population. Materials and Methods: We examined a total of 354 patients who presented for initial screening or surveillance colonoscopy at our Colon Cancer Prevention Program. Our main exposure variable was serum Vitamin D levels and the outcome was AAs defined as those adenomas that were large (≥1 cm) or had advanced pathology (>25% villous components or high-grade dysplasia). Known risk factors were also collected from the patients' charts including gender, age, smoking, and family history. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine the relationship between serum 25-OH Vitamin D levels and AAs. A total of 354 patients [(males, 188; females, 166); average age, 61 y] charts were reviewed. Vitamin D levels ranged between 4 and 70 ng/mL, with a mean of 25 ng/mL (clinical laboratory normal>30 ng/mL). There was no significant association between serum levels and time of the year of blood draw. Risk for tubular adenoma and AA increased as Vitamin D levels decreased to <30 ng/mL (P=0.002). In total, 80% of AAs were detected in patients whose levels were below this value (odds ratio, 3.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.40-8.03; P=0.007). Bivariate analysis also showed a positive association between smokers with AA as well as those with a family history of colon cancer (P=0.011) and low Vitamin D levels (P=0.001). A multivariate analysis using quintiles of Vitamin D levels demonstrated an increased risk of AAs for patients with levels in the second quintile (33 ng/mL) (odds ratio, 4.3; P=0.01) Main Conclusions: Most patients presenting in our Colon Cancer Prevention Program have low levels of serum 25-OH Vitamin D. Analysis of the results of both screening and surveillance colonoscopies demonstrated an inverse relation between serum 25-OH Vitamin D level and AAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-648
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical gastroenterology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • 25-OH Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • adenoma
  • advanced adenomas
  • colon neoplasm


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