Mendelian randomization study on vitamin D levels and osteoarthritis risk: A concise report

Arjan P. Bergink*, Katerina Trajanoska, André G. Uitterlinden, Joyce B.J. Van Meurs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The role of vitamin D in OA is unclear and previous epidemiological studies have provided inconsistent results. We conducted a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) study to investigate the causal relationship between genetically determined serum vitamin D levels and hip/knee OA. Methods Six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with vitamin D levels in the Study of Underlying Genetic Determinants of Vitamin D and Highly Related Traits Consortium were selected as instrumental variables. Summary statistics of the SNPs effects on OA were derived from the Iceland and UK Biobank, comprising 23 877 knee OA cases, 17 151 hip OA cases and >562 000 controls. The control samples match the OA cases in age, sex and county of origin. Results The MR analyses showed no causal association between genetically determined vitamin D levels and knee OA [odds ratio (OR) 1.03 (95% CI 0.84, 1.26)] or hip OA [OR 1.06 (95% CI 0.83, 1.35)]. Conclusion Genetic variations associated with low vitamin D serum levels are not associated with increased risk of hip or knee OA in community-dwelling older adults, suggesting that vitamin D levels are not causally linked to OA. It is therefore unlikely that vitamin D supplementation protects against hip or knee OA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3409-3412
Number of pages4
JournalRheumatology (United Kingdom)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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