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Old 03-15-2013, 06:26 PM
Dross Dross is offline
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Default For Smokers, Low Levels of Vitamin D May Lead to Cancer

New research appearing online today in Clinical Chemistry, the journal of AACC, shows that decreased levels of vitamin D may predispose smokers to developing tobacco-related cancer. This study illustrates that simple vitamin D blood tests and supplements have the potential to improve smokers' health.

In the U.S. alone, cigarette smoking accounts for more deaths annually than HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. It is the primary causal factor for at least 30% of all cancer deaths, and can lead to multiple kinds of cancer, including bladder, cervical, esophageal, head and neck, kidney, liver, lung, pancreatic, and stomach, as well as myeloid leukemia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the healthcare expenditures and productivity losses due to smoking cost the economy approximately $193 billion per year.

In this paper, Afzal et al. measured plasma vitamin D levels in blood samples collected in 1981-1983 from 10,000 Danes from the general population. Researchers then followed the study participants for up to 28 years through the Danish Cancer Registry. Of the participants, 1,081 eventually developed a tobacco-related cancer. The authors determined that the median vitamin D concentration among these participants was only 14.8 ng/mL, versus the higher 16.4 ng/mL median concentration found for all participants together.

These results show for the first time that the risk of tobacco-related cancers as a group is associated with lower concentrations of vitamin D. The data also indicate that tobacco smoke chemicals may influence vitamin D metabolism and function, while vitamin D may conversely modify the carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke chemicals. If further research confirms this, it would be consistent with previous studies demonstrating the anti-tumorigenic effects of vitamin D derivatives, as well as the correlation of vitamin D deficiency with favorable cancer-forming conditions and increased susceptibility to tobacco smoke carcinogens. Interestingly, though, low vitamin D levels were not connected with risk of other cancer types.

"Our analyses show that the association between lower concentrations of plasma vitamin D and higher risk of cancer may be driven by tobacco-related cancer as a group, which has not been shown before," stated author Børge G. Nordestgaard, MD, DMSc, in the paper. "This is important for future studies investigating the association between plasma vitamin D and risk of cancer."

Journal Reference: S. Afzal, S. E. Bojesen, B. G. Nordestgaard. Low Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Tobacco-Related Cancer. Clinical Chemistry, 2013; DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2012.201939

Citation: American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) (2013, March 15). For smokers, low levels of vitamin D may lead to cancer. ScienceDaily. March 19, 2013

Last edited by gdpawel : 03-19-2013 at 09:27 PM. Reason: posted full article in forum board
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:34 PM
gdpawel gdpawel is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
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Default Low Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Tobacco-Related Cancer

Low Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Tobacco-Related Cancer

Shoaib Afzal 1, Stig E. Bojesen 1,2,3 and Børge G. Nordestgaard 1,2,3

1. The Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital
2. The Copenhagen City Heart study, Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Address correspondence: Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev Ringvej 75, DK-2730 Herlev, Denmark.



Tobacco smoke chemicals may influence vitamin D metabolism and function, and conversely vitamin D may modify the carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke chemicals. We tested the hypothesis that lower plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is associated with a higher risk of tobacco-related cancer in the general population.


A prospective population-based cohort of 9791 individuals from the Copenhagen City Heart Study who were free of cancer at baseline was followed from 1981–1983 until December 2008 with 100% complete follow-up.


During up to 28 years of follow-up, 1081 participants developed a tobacco-related cancer and 1506 developed other cancers. Decreasing 25(OH)D concentrations, subdivided by clinical categories or by seasonally adjusted percentile categories, were associated with increasing cumulative incidence of tobacco-related cancer (log-rank trend P = 2 × 10−6 and P = 5 × 10−9). Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios of tobacco-related cancer were 1.75 (95% CI, 1.33–2.30) for 25(OH)D <5 vs ≥20 ng/mL, and 2.07 (1.63–2.62) for ≤5th vs >66th percentile. Also, multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for a 50% reduction in 25(OH)D were 1.20 (1.13–1.28) for any tobacco-related cancer, 1.19 (95% CI, 1.09–1.31) for lung cancer, 1.44 (1.19–1.73) for head and neck cancer, 1.28 (1.06–1.54) for bladder cancer, 1.34 (1.04–1.73) for kidney cancer, and 0.95 (0.89–1.01) for other cancers.


Lower plasma 25(OH)D was associated with higher risk of tobacco-related cancers, but not with risk of other cancers.

Clinical Chemistry; March 2013 doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2012.201939

Gregory D. Pawelski
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