Adverse effects of vitamin d deficiency on outcomes of patients with chronic hepatitis B
Background & Aims: Vitamin D is an immunomodulator that might be involved in the pathogenesis of viral hepatitis. We investigated the effects of vitamin D deficiency on long-term outcomes of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of 426 patients with CHB (65% male mean age, 41±13 years), who were enrolled from 1997 through 2000. Serum levels of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) were measured on study enrollment (baseline). Patients were followed for 159 ± 46 months until last clinic visit or death; approximately 33% received antiviral therapy during the follow-up period. The primary outcome was a clinical event (hepatocellular carcinoma, complications of cirrhosis, or death). Results: At baseline, the patients' mean serum level of hepatitis B virus DNA was 5.0 ± 2.1 log10 IU/mL; their mean level of 25(OH)D3 was 24.3 ± 9.4 ng/mL, and 348 patients (82%) had vitamin D deficiency (<32 ng/mL). Serum levels of 25(OH)D3 did not correlate with cirrhosis or viral load. Ninety-seven patients (22.8%) developed clinical events by a mean time of 118 ± 60 months after study enrollment. Patients who developed clinical events had lower baseline serum levels of 25(OH)D3 (23.2 ± 10.4 ng/mL) than patients who did not (28.2 ± 9.3 ng/mL, P < .001). Low baseline serum 25(OH)D3 was an independent factor associated with clinical events after adjustment for sex, age, and cirrhosis. The adjusted hazard ratio of vitamin D deficiency for clinical events was 1.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-2.43; P= .04). The 15-year cumulative incidence rate of clinical events among patients with vitamin D deficiency was 25.5% (95% CI, 23.1%-27.9%), compared with 11.1% (95% CI, 7.4%-14.8%) in patients with normal serum levels of 25(OH)D3. Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is common among patients with CHB and is associated with adverse clinical outcomes. © 2015 AGA Institute.