HealthDay News — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced overall survival for patients with multiple myeloma (MM), with a differential effect across race, according to a study published online April 21 in Blood Advances.

Sarvari V. Yellapragada, MD, from Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, and colleagues examined the differential impact of vitamin D deficiency on outcome in patients with symptomatic MM in the Veterans Affairs system. Data were included for 1889 patients with MM: 29% African American, 61% white, and 10% other/unknown.

The researchers found that 46.3 and 23.6% of African-American and white patients, respectively, had vitamin D deficiency. Patients with vitamin D deficiency had significantly worse overall survival compared with those with normal levels (median, 3.10 vs 3.91 years). The estimated hazard ratio (HR) in association with vitamin D deficiency was 1.24; after adjustment for race, age, and stage at diagnosis, vitamin D deficiency remained an independent predictor of overall survival (HR, 1.34). Overall survival was significantly lower with vitamin D deficiency among white patients compared with those with normal levels, with an estimated HR of 1.38. For African American patients, overall survival was no different for patients with vitamin D deficiency compared with those who had normal serum vitamin D levels.

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“Our results, in addition [to] suggesting a need to screen patients with MM for vitamin D deficiency and consider replacement if deficient, also highlight racial differences in disease biology that require further in-depth evaluation,” the authors write.

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Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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