(HealthDay News) – Dietary vitamin D intake during adolescence does not appear to be associated with the risk of adult-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to research published in the December issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

In an effort to evaluate the relationship between reported vitamin D intake during adolescence and adult-onset RA and SLE, Linda T. Hiraki, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues used data from food frequency questionnaires concerning high school diet completed by 73,629 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 45,544 participants from NHS II.

The researchers confirmed incident RA in 652 NHS participants and 148 NHSII participants, and SLE in 122 and 54 participants, respectively. There was no significant association observed for adolescent vitamin D intake and the risk of adult-onset RA or SLE, in age- and calorie-adjusted models or multivariate models.

“Although we observed that the majority of nurses reported insufficient vitamin D intakes in their high school years, we did not find associations between reported dietary intake of vitamin D during adolescence and risk of RA or SLE in adulthood,” Hiraki and colleagues conclude. “In contrast to prior studies of adult RA and SLE, in the current study, we adjusted for epidemiologic factors that influence circulating vitamin D levels, such as indices of sun exposure.”

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