(HealthDay News) — Among the severely obese, vitamin D status is related to physical activity and physical function, according to research published online April 15 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Tomas Ahern, MB, BCh, of St. Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown, Ireland, and colleagues conducted a clinic-based, cross-sectional study of 252 severely obese subjects (age, 43.7±11.2 years; body mass index, 50.7±9.7kg/m²). The authors sought to assess the relationship between vitamin D status and physical function.

The researchers found that participants with 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations <50nmol/L, compared with those with 25(OH)D >30 nmol/L, reported the highest activity levels (3.1±3.4 hours/week vs. 1.5±2.5 hours/week; P=0.015) and the shortest times to walk 500m (6.2±1.1 minutes vs. 7.4±1.5 minutes; P=0.003). A weakly positive association was found between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and activity level (r=0.19; P=0.008). A moderately negative association was found between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and 500-m walk time (r=−0.343; P<0.001).

“Our findings suggest that part of the physical inactivity and physical dysfunction associated with severe obesity may be due to poor vitamin D status,” the authors write.

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