As reported by The New York Times, Well Blog — Inadequate levels of vitamin D may increase the risk for uterine fibroids, a new study reports.
Vitamin D has been associated with reduced risk for various diseases, but this is the first to examine the connection to fibroids, benign tumors of the uterus that can cause pain and bleeding.
Researchers randomly selected 620 black and 410 white women, ages 35 to 49, and determined their vitamin D levels with blood tests and their health status with questionnaires. Their analysis appears in the May issue of Epidemiology.
About two-thirds of the women had fibroid tumors. In the entire group, only 10 percent of the black women and 50 percent of white women had vitamin D levels above 20 nanograms per milliliter, generally considered an adequate level.
After adjusting for age, physical activity, sun exposure and other variables, they found that having a vitamin D level above 20 decreased the risk for fibroids by 32 percent, and that each increase of 10 nanograms per milliliter in vitamin D was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of having a fibroid tumor.
The lead author, Donna Day Baird, an epidemiologist with the National Institutes of Health, cautioned that this was only one epidemiological study and needed to be replicated. Still, she said, “sufficient levels of vitamin D are probably good for several health outcomes, and fibroids may be one of them.”