Australian children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes have low vitamin D levels

Ristan M Greer, Meredith A Rogers, Francis G Bowling, Helen M Buntain, Mark Harris, Gary M Leong and Andrew M Cotterill
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01130.x
Published online: 2 July 2007

To the Editor: Recent studies provide evidence that having a low serum vitamin D level is a risk factor for autoimmune disease, including type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).1,2 Available data come from northern hemisphere countries where sunlight exposure levels and the genetic background of the population are different from those in Australia. We compared vitamin D levels in stored serum from Brisbane children and adolescents with T1DM who attended the Mater Children’s Hospital clinic with local historical control data from a previous study.3

  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 3 Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.



We thank Dr Slavica Vuckovic of the Mater Medical Research Institute for helpful discussions on the role of dendritic cells in autoimmune disease.

  • 1. Littorin B, Blom P, Scholin A, et al. Lower levels of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D among young adults at diagnosis of autoimmmune type 1 diabetes compared with control subjects: results from the nationwide Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden (DISS). Diabetologia 2006; 49: 2847-2852.
  • 2. Pozzilli P, Manfrini S, Crino A, et al. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. Horm Metab Res 2005; 37: 680-683.
  • 3. Greer RM, Buntain HM, Potter JM, et al. Abnormalities of the PTH-vitamin D axis and bone turnover markers in children, adolescents and adults with cystic fibrosis: comparison with healthy controls. Osteoporos Int 2003; 14: 404-411.
  • 4. Munns C, Zacharin MR, Rodda CP, et al. Prevention and treatment of infant and childhood vitamin D deficiency in Australia and New Zealand: a consensus statement. Med J Aust 2006; 185: 268-272. <MJA full text>
  • 5. Vuckovic S, Withers G, Harris M, et al. Decreased blood dendritic cell counts in type 1 diabetic children. Clin Immunol 2007; Apr 24 [Epub ahead of print].


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