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Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
vitamin D, dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity, cadiovascular, children
Dyslipidemia is increasing among U.S. children, and the prevalence is highest among children with diabetes and obesity. Recently, vitamin D deficiency has been suggested as a possible dietary risk factor for dyslipidemia. Despite the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency amongst children, virtually no studies have evaluated the association between vitamin D and dyslipidemia among children. We evaluated the vitamin D and dyslipidemia relationship among 240 children and adolescents aged 2 through 21 years who were outpatients of a pediatric endocrinology unit at a large tertiary care facility in Western Massachusetts from April 2008 to April 2010. Eligible children were those with either obesity and/or type 1 or 2 diabetes mellitus. A total of 17.4% of children had severe (<15.0 ng/ml) vitamin D deficiency, 19.2% had moderate (15.0-19.9 ng/ml) deficiency, 36.3% were insufficient (20.0-29.9 ng/ml), and 27.1% had normal (≥30.0 ng/ml) levels. A total of 28.8% of children had high total cholesterol (TC ≥180 mg/dL), 19.6% had high triglycerides (TG; <10years: ≥110 mg/dL, ≥10years: ≥130 mg/dL), 21.3% had low high density lipoprotein (HDL <40 mg/dL), and 6.7% had high low density lipoprotein (LDL ≥130 mg/dL). Moderate vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased risk of high TC (adjusted odds ratio [OR adj] = 2.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 8.8) compared to children with normal vitamin D levels. Severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased risk of low HDL (OR adj = 3.5, 95% CI: 1.0-12.3) and high TG (OR adj = 11.7, 95% CI: 1.9, 70.3) compared to children with normal vitamin D levels. Children with moderate vitamin D deficiency had approximately 3-fold increased risk of high TC compared to children with normal vitamin D levels. In comparison to children with normal vitamin D levels, severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with a strong and significant increased risk of low HDL and high TG; with a significant dose-response relationship. Additionally, in linear regression analyses, we found that an increase in vitamin D deficiency was associated with a significant mean increase in all four measures of dyslipidemia. Vitamin D adequacy may reduce the risk of dyslipidemia in children.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair