Relationship Between Vitamin D Status From Childhood to Early Adulthood With Body Composition in Young Australian Adults

Kun Zhu, Wendy H. Oddy, Patrick Holt, Wendy Chan She Ping-Delfos, Joanne McVeigh, Leon Straker, Trevor A. Mori, Stephen Lye, Craig Pennell, John P. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Vitamin D plays a role in the differentiation and metabolism of skeletal muscle and, possibly, adipose tissue; however, the relationship between vitamin D status during growth and body composition in early adulthood is unclear.

Objective: We examined associations between vitamin D status in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood with body composition at age 20 years.

Design, Setting, Participants: We studied 821 offspring (385 females) of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study who had >= 3 serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D[25(OH) D] at age 6, 14, 17, and 20 years and body composition assessed at age 20 using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The participants were grouped into four vitamin D status trajectories: consistently lower, decreasing, increasing, and consistently higher.

Results: The mean serum 25(OH) D at the study visits was 72.7 to 86.8 nmol/L. In males, serum 25(OH) D at 17 and 20 years was positively associated with lean body mass (LBM), and 25(OH) D at age 20 correlated negatively with fat body mass (FBM). Males with a consistently higher 25(OH) D trajectory had a 2.3-to 3.7-kg greater LBM and 4.1-to 6.0-kg lower FBM at 20 years compared with those with consistently lower or decreasing trajectories (P <0.05 for all). In females, 25(OH) D at 14, 17, and 20 years was negatively associated with FBM. Females with increasing or consistently higher 25(OH) D trajectories had a 5.2- to 6.8-kg lower FBM at age 20 compared with those with a consistently lower trajectory (P <0.05 for all).

Conclusions: In the present predominantly white, relatively vitamin D-replete cohort, a higher vitamin D status trajectory from childhood to early adulthood was associated with a greater LBM in males and lower FBM in both sexes at age 20. Copyright (C) 2019 Endocrine Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-576
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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