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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340007

Research Project: Nutrients, Aging, and Musculoskeletal Function

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Vitamin D measurement standardization: the way out of the chaos

item BINKLEY, NEIL - University Of Wisconsin
item DAWSON-HUGHES, BESS - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item DURAZO-ARVIZU, RAMON - Loyola University School Of Medicine
item THAMM, MICHAEL - Robert Koch Institute
item TIAN, LU - Stanford University
item MERKEL, JOYCE - National Institutes Of Health (NIH)
item JONES, JULIA - Imperial College
item CARTER, GRAHAM - Imperial College
item SEMPOS, CHRISTOPHER - National Institutes Of Health (NIH)

Submitted to: The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/11/2016
Publication Date: 12/12/2016
Citation: Binkley, N., Dawson-Hughes, B., Durazo-Arvizu, R., Thamm, M., Tian, L., Merkel, J., Jones, J.C., Carter, G.D., Sempos, C.T. 2016. Vitamin D measurement standardization: the way out of the chaos. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.12.002.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Substantial variability is associated with laboratory measurement of serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. The resulting chaos impedes development of consensus 25(OH)D values to define stages of vitamin D status. As resolving this situation requires standardized measurement of 25(OH)D, the Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) developed methodology to standardize 25(OH)D measurement to the gold standard reference measurement procedures of NIST, Ghent University and CDC. Importantly, VDSP developed protocols for standardizing 25(OH)D values from prior research based on availability of stored serum samples. The effect of such retrospective standardization on prevalence of low vitamin D status in national studies reported here for The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994) and the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KIGGS, 2003-2006) was such that in NHANES III 25(OH)D values were lower than original values while higher in KIGGS. In NHANES III the percentage with values below 30, 50 and 75 nmol/L increased from 4% to 6%, 22% to 31% and 55% to 71%, respectively. Whereas in KIGGS after standardization the percentage below 30, 50, and 70 nmol/L decreased from 28% to 13%, 64% to 47% and 87% to 85% respectively. Moreover, in a hypothetical example, depending on whether the 25(OH)D assay was positively or negatively biased by 12%, the 25(OH)D concentration which maximally suppressed PTH could vary from 20-35 ng/mL. These examples underscore the challenges (perhaps impossibility) of developing vitamin D guidelines using unstandardized 25(OH)D data. Retrospective 25(OH)D standardization can be applied to old studies where stored serum samples exist. As a way forward, we suggest an international effort to identify key prior studies with stored samples for re-analysis and standardization initially to define the 25(OH)D level associated with vitamin D deficiency (rickets/osteomalacia). Subsequent work could focus on defining inadequacy. Finally, examples reported here highlight the importance of suspending publication of meta-analyses based on unstandardized 25(OH)D results.