Vitamin D Deficiency Tied to Neuropathic Pain

Findings among patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with increased neuropathic pain (NP) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online Aug. 31 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Hilal Yesil, from Afyon Kocatepe University in Turkey, and colleagues used the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS) questionnaire to evaluate NP in 93 patients with RA. Other data were obtained from medical records and interviews.

The researchers found that 80 percent of patients were female and one-third were diagnosed with NP according to the LANSS. There was a negative correlation between vitamin D levels and the LANSS score (P = 0.001). Among patients with serum vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL, the prevalence of NP was 5.8 times higher than in patients with vitamin D levels ≥30 ng/mL. Serum levels of vitamin D were a good predictor of NP diagnoses in patients with RA (area under curve, 0.71).

"Although further research is needed to clarify the association between serum vitamin D levels and NP, our study raises awareness of the need to screen for vitamin D deficiency in RA patients with NP," the authors write.

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