Few studies have investigated vitamin D status in association with modifiable lifestyle factors and clinical characteristics among breast cancer patients, with no studies among Chinese women, who may be at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. We aimed to evaluate circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in association with clinical and lifestyle factors among 1,940 Chinese breast cancer patients.
Participants included breast cancer cases aged 22–77 from a population-based case-control study conducted in Shanghai, China during 1996–1998 (n = 1,044) and 2002–2005 (n = 896). Circulating 25(OH)D levels were measured in plasma samples (95% collected ≤6 months post-diagnosis). Prevalence ORs and 95% CIs were derived from multinomial logistic regression models, adjusting for age, season, and other factors.
About 23% and 48% of women were vitamin D deficient (<30 nmol/L) or insufficient (30–50 nmol/L), respectively. Tumor characteristics were not associated with vitamin D status. Higher BMI was associated with increased odds of vitamin D deficiency (ORs (95% CIs): 1 (reference), 1.12 (0.85,1.47), and 1.57 (1.02,2.42), for <23, 23–<27.5, and ≥27.5 kg/m2, respectively, Ptrend <0.06). Total physical activity was associated with reduced odds of vitamin D deficiency (ORs (95% CIs):1 (reference), 0.84 (0.59,1.20), 0.65 (0.45,0.93), and 0.69 (0.48,1.00), for <7.65, 7.65–<10.6, 10.6–<13.5, ≥13.5 MET-hours/day, respectively, Ptrend <0.02). Smoking was associated with vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency (ORs (95% CIs): 2.50 (1.07,5.84) and 2.78 (1.11,6.95), respectively).
In the largest study to date, the prevalence of low vitamin D status was high among Chinese breast cancer patients and associated with higher BMI, smoking, and lower physical activity. Our findings support careful monitoring of vitamin D status and recommendations for supplementation and other lifestyle modifications that may improve vitamin D status in breast cancer patients.