News: Low vitamin D levels linked to breast Ca metastases

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Vitamin D deficiency is common among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and is associated with poor long-term outcomes.

Vitamin D deficiency is common among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and is associated with poor long-term outcomes, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Pamela Goodwin, MD, of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues assessed vitamin D levels in 512 newly diagnosed patients between 1989 and 1995, and identified 192 (37.5%) of them as deficient, 197 (38.5%) as insufficient, and 123 (24%) as adequate.

After a median follow-up of 11.6 years, 106 (20.7%) of the subjects died, the researchers report. Compared to subjects with adequate vitamin D levels, those who were deficient had significantly worse odds of distant disease-free survival and overall survival (hazard ratios, 1.94 and 1.73, respectively).

Goodwin PJ, Ennis M, Pritchard KI, et al. Frequency of vitamin D (Vit D) deficiency at breast cancer (BC) diagnosis and association with risk of distant recurrence and death in a prospective cohort study of T1-3, N0-1, M0 BC. J Clin Oncol 26. 2008. (May 20 suppl; abstr 511).

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