Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency among hiv-infected and uninfected injection drug users

Allison A. Lambert, M. Bradley Drummond, Shruti H. Mehta, Todd T. Brown, Gregory M. Lucas, Gregory D. Kirk, Michelle M. Estrella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent and is associated with bone disease, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and malignancy. Injection drug users (IDUs), with or without HIV infection, are at risk for these conditions; however, limited data on vitamin D deficiency exist in this population. We determined the prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency among urban IDUs in the AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) Study cohort. Methods: For this cross-sectional sub-study, vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25(OH)-vitamin D level <20 ng/ mL. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors independently associated with vitamin D deficiency. Results: Of 950 individuals analyzed, 29% were HIV-infected. The median age was 49 years; 65% were male, and 91% were black. The median vitamin D level was 13.5 ng/mL (IQR, 9.0-20.3); 74% were deficient (68% in HIV-infected vs. 76% in HIV-uninfected, p = 0.01). Non-black race, fall/winter season, multivitamin intake, higher serum albumin, HCV seropositivity and HIV-infection were associated with significantly lower odds of vitamin D deficiency. Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among IDUs. Notably, HIV-infected IDUs were less likely to be vitamin D deficient. Higher vitamin D levels were associated with multivitamin intake and with higher albumin levels, suggesting that nutritional status contributes substantially to deficiency. The association between HCV serostatus and vitamin D level remains unclear. Further investigation is needed to define the clinical implications of the heavy burden of vitamin D deficiency in this high-risk, aging population with significant co-morbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere95802
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 22 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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