(HealthDay News) – Genetic variants in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) may impact the association between low vitamin D levels and adverse health outcomes, according to research published in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gregory P. Levin, PhD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues examined 141 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a discovery cohort of 1,514 white participants of the community-based Cardiovascular Health Study to examine their role in the association of low 25-hydroxyvitamin D with major clinical outcomes. Participants were followed for a median of 11 years. Data were collected from 922 participants in the U.S. Health, Aging, and Body Composition, 835 from the Italian Invecchiare in Chianti, and 970 from the Swedish Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men for a replication meta-analysis.

In the discovery phase, the researchers identified interactions between five SNPs and low 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. One SNP involving a variant in the VDR was replicated in meta-analysis. For participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study, low 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration correlated with a significantly increased hazard of the composite outcome of incident hip fracture, myocardial infarction, cancer, and mortality for those with one or two minor alleles at rs7968585 (hazard ratio, 1.40 and 1.82, respectively). Participants with no minor alleles at this SNP had no evidence of an association.

“In summary, results of this candidate gene study indicate that known associations of low serum vitamin D concentration with clinical outcomes may vary according to genetic differences in the vitamin D receptor,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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