Acta Clin Croat. 2020 Mar;59(1):109-118. doi: 10.20471/acc.2020.59.01.13.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients with vitamin D deficiency show an increased risk of hospital admission, surgery, and loss of response to biologic therapy while high vitamin D levels are identified as a protective factor. Our goal was to investigate the prevalence of untreated and undertreated vitamin D deficiency and factors associated with vitamin D deficiency. In this cross-sectional study, we measured serum vitamin D in a random sample of Caucasian IBD patients. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as <50 nmol/L and insufficiency as 50-75 nmol/L. Supplementation was defined as taking 800-2000 IU vitamin D daily. Untreated patients were defined as not taking supplementation and undertreated group as receiving supplementation but showing vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency despite treatment. Our study included 185 IBD patients, i.e. 126 (68.1%) with Crohn's disease (CD) and 59 (31.9%) with ulcerative colitis (UC). Overall, 108 (58.4%) patients had vitamin D deficiency and 60 (32.4%) patients vitamin D insufficiency. There were 16 (14.8%) and 11 (18.3%) treated patients in vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D insufficiency group, respectively. The rate of untreated patients was 81.7% (n=49) in vitamin D deficiency group and 85.2% (n=92) in vitamin D insufficiency group. Tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors were associated with higher serum vitamin D levels in CD and UC, and ileal involvement, ileal and ileocolonic resection with lower levels. In conclusion, not only is vitamin D deficiency common in IBD patients but the proportion of untreated and undertreated patients is considerably high. We suggest regular monitoring of vitamin D levels in IBD patients regardless of receiving vitamin D supplementation therapy.