Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, obesity and the metabolic syndrome among Korean children

S. H. Lee, S. M. Kim, H. S. Park, K. M. Choi, G. J. Cho, B. J. Ko, J. H. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: Evidence of the relationship between serum vitamin D levels and cardiovascular risk factors in children is limited. We investigated the associations between serum vitamin D levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]) and obesity and metabolic syndrome and its components in Korean children. Methods and Results: We recruited 1660, nine-year-old, Korean children (904 boys and 756 girls) who voluntarily participated in this study while being examined during school-based health examinations. We measured anthropometric variables (height and weight), metabolic parameters (blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, triglyceride, and HDL cholesterol levels) and serum vitamin D levels. We analyzed the data using multivariate logistic regression models. Mean 25(OH)D levels were lower in children defined as obese or abdominally obese (P < 0.001). When serum levels of 25(OH)D were divided into quartiles, BMI, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels were lower, and HDL cholesterol levels were higher, as vitamin D levels increased. Using children from the highest quartile of 25(OH)D levels as a referent, the adjusted ORs (95% CI) for obesity in those in the third, second, and lowest quartiles of 25(OH)D levels were 1.55 (1.01-2.40), 1.87 (1.22-2.85), and 2.59 (1.71-3.90), respectively (P for trend <0.001). For abdominal obesity the ORs (CI) were 2.08 (1.20-3.60), 2.32 (1.36-3.95), and 2.96 (1.75-5.00) (P for trend<0.001), and for metabolic syndrome they were 2.60 (1.08-6.30), 4.00 (1.73-9.26), and 4.25 (1.84-9.85), respectively (P for trend <0.05). Conclusions: We found low vitamin D levels in Korean children to be associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Insufficient serum vitamin D levels in children may be a risk factor of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-791
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • 25(OH)D
  • BMI
  • HDL
  • LDL
  • MetS
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • NCEP
  • Obesity
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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