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Cancer patients 64% less likely to die if have high level of vitamin D – Dec 2011

Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and survival in Norwegian patients with cancer of breast, colon, lung, and lymphoma: a population-based study.

Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Dec 23.
Tretli S, Schwartz GG, Torjesen PA, Robsahm TE.
The Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-based Cancer Research, PB 5313, Majorstuen, 0304, Oslo, Norway, steinar.tretli at kreftregisteret.no.

PURPOSE: We investigated the association between serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) and risk of death in Norwegian cancer patients.

METHODS: The study population was 658 patients with cancers of the

  • breast (n = 251),
  • colon (n = 52),
  • lung (n = 210), and
  • lymphoma (n = 145),

obtained from JANUS, a population-based serum bank in Norway. Serum samples were collected within 90 days of cancer diagnosis and were analyzed for 25-OHD. Patients were diagnosed during 1984-2004 and were followed for death throughout 2008. We used Cox regression models to assess the relationship between serum 25-OHD and risk of death.

RESULTS: Three hundred and ninety-nine patients died during follow-up, of whom 343 (86%) died from cancer. Adjusted for sex, age at diagnosis, and season of blood sampling, patients with 25-OHD levels below 46 nmol/L at diagnosis experienced shorter survival. Compared to patients in the lowest quartile of serum 25-OHD, the risk of cancer death among patients in the highest quartile was significantly reduced (HR 0.36 95% CI 0.27, 0.51). The estimated change in risk of cancer death was most pronounced between the first and the second quartile. The associations between 25-OHD levels and survival were observed for all four cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher circulating serum levels of 25-OHD were positively associated with the survival for cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and lymphoma.

PMID: 22193397

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