Purpose: Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition that is associated with diabetes and insulin resistance. However, the association between vitamin D and insulin resistance has not been fully studied, especially in the general adolescent population. Therefore, we assessed the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level and insulin resistance among apparently healthy Korean adolescents. Methods: A total of 260 (135 male and 125 female) adolescents in a rural high school were assessed for serum 25(OH)D, fasting plasma glucose, and insulin. All of the participants were aged 15 to 16 years old, and without known hypertension or diabetes. Serum 25(OH)D was analyzed both as a continuous and categorical variable in association with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance was estimated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Increased insulin resistance was operationally defined as a HOMA-IR value higher than the sex-specific 75th percentile. Results: In male adolescents, every 10 ng/ml decrease in 25(OH)D level was associated with a 0.25 unit increase in HOMA-IR (p = 0.003) after adjusting for age and BMI. Compared to those in the highest quartile, male adolescents in the lowest 25(OH)D quartile were at significantly higher risk for insulin resistance: unadjusted odds ratio 4.06 (95% CI, 1.26 to 13.07); age and BMI adjusted odds ratio 3.59 (95% CI, 1.03 to 12.57). However, 25(OH)D level, either in continuous or categorical measure, was not significantly associated with insulin resistance among female adolescents. Conclusions: This study suggests that serum 25(OH)D level may be inversely associated with insulin resistance in healthy male adolescents.
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