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Introduction: Both experimental and clinical data provide evidence that vitamin D is one of those important environmental factors that can increase the prevalence of certain autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD). Methods: Plasma 25(OH)D3 levels in 161 UCTD patients were measured in both summer and winter periods. Autoantibody profiles (antinuclear antibody, anti-U1-ribonucleoprotein, anti-SSA, anti-SSB, anti-Jo1, anti-Scl70, anti-double-stranded DNA, anti-centromere, anti-cardiolipin, rheumatoid factor, and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide) and clinical symptoms of the patients were assessed. Results: Plasma levels of 25(OH)D3 in UCTD patients were significantly lower compared with controls in both summer and winter periods (UCTD summer: 33 ± 13.4 ng/mL versus control: 39.9 ± 11.7 ng/mL, P = 0.01; UCTD winter: 27.8 ± 12.48 ng/mL versus control: 37.8 ± 12.3 ng/mL, P = 0.0001). The presence of dermatological symptoms (photosensitivity, erythema, and chronic discoid rash) and pleuritis was associated with low levels of vitamin D. During the average follow-up period of 2.3 years, 35 out of 161 patients (21.7%) with UCTD further developed into well-established connective tissue disease (CTD). Patients who progressed into CTDs had lower vitamin D levels than those who remained in the UCTD stage (vitamin D levels: CTD: 14.7 ± 6.45 ng/mL versus UCTD: 33.0 ± 13.4 ng/mL, P = 0.0001). Conclusions: In patients with UCTD, a seasonal variance in levels of 25(OH)D3 was identified and showed that these levels were significantly lower than in controls during the corresponding seasons. Our results suggest that vitamin D deficiency in UCTD patients may play a role in the subsequent progression into well-defined CTDs. © 2008 Zold et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Zold, E., Szodoray, P., Gaal, J., Kappelmayer, J., Csathy, L., Gyimesi, E., … Bodolay, E. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency in undifferentiated connective tissue disease. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.1186/ar2533