J. Bone Miner. Res. 36 (10) 1957-1966 [2021-10-00; online 2021-07-10]
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25OHD) is used to assess vitamin D status and is known to be affected by season and fat mass. Because these factors are often ignored when interpreting S-25OHD, assessment of vitamin D associations with disease outcomes may be distorted. We aimed to investigate the impact of season of blood draw and fat mass on the association of S25OHD with fracture risk. We enrolled 5000 women, mean ± SD age 68 ± 7 years, with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans and blood collection in a population-based cohort. Proportional hazards regression, stratified by season and fat mass, was used to determine hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture according to categories of S-25OHD. Our secondary exposures were serum 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25-(OH)2 D3 ), the most active vitamin D metabolite and plasma parathyroid hormone (P-PTH). During an average of 9.2 years of follow-up, 1080 women had a fracture. Women with S-25OHD <30 nmol/L drawn during sunny months (May-October) had a multivariable-adjusted fracture HR of 2.06 (95% CI, 1.27-3.35) compared with those with S-25OHD >60 nmol/L; those with S-25OHD 30-40 nmol/L had an HR of 1.59 (95% CI, 1.12-2.26). In contrast, S-25OHD drawn during November through April was unrelated to fracture risk. The increased risk with low sunny season S-25OHD was seen only among women with body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 or fat mass index (FMI) ≥9.8 kg/m2 . High fat mass and low S-25OHD were independently related to lower S-1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, which itself predicted fracture risk with samples collected during the sunny season. Irrespective of season, P-PTH was unrelated to fracture risk. We conclude that S-25OHD is associated with fracture risk only if drawn during periods of seasonally high levels in women with a high BMI. These results have implications for the evaluation of vitamin D status and can explain the lack of effect seen with vitamin D supplementation in many fracture trials. © 2021 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).