Lower plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with irregular menstrual cycles in a cross-sectional study.
BACKGROUND: In animals, low levels of vitamin D are associated with estrus cycle disturbances, but there are virtually no human data. We examined the association of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) (a biomarker for vitamin D status) with menstrual cycle characteristics. METHODS: Women aged 35-44 were randomly selected from a Washington D.C. health plan and invited to participate in the Uterine Fibroid Study (1996-1999). Our analysis includes 636 women (57% were African-American) who provided a blood sample and completed a telephone interview that included gynecologic history. Women were asked their usual cycle length in the preceding year. Women who reported it was "too irregular to estimate" were classified as having irregular cycles (N=48). Women were excluded if they currently or recently used hormonal contraception or any other medication that influences menstrual cycles. 25(OH)D was measured by radioimmunoassay in stored plasma samples. RESULTS: The median 25(OH)D level was 12.0 ng/mL (interquartile range: 7.6, 19.7 ng/mL). After controlling for age, race, BMI, education, age of menarche, current smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity, a decrease in 25(OH)D of 10 ng/mL was associated with 1.9 times the odds of irregular cycles (Odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI)): 1.9 (1.0, 3.4), p=0.04). 25(OH)D was not associated with the occurrence of short cycles (OR(CI): 1.08 (0.79, 1.48, p=0.6) or long cycles (OR(CI): 1.31 (0.66, 2.60), p=0.4). CONCLUSIONS: Lower levels of 25(OH)D were associated with irregular cycles, but not with short or long cycles. Vitamin D may play a role in regulating ovulatory function. Further investigation of potential mechanisms is warranted.
Jukic, AMZ; Steiner, AZ; Baird, DD
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