The relative influence of serum ionized calcium and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in regulating PTH secretion in healthy subjects

Federica Ferrone, Jessica Pepe, Vittoria Carmela Danese, Valeria Fassino, Veronica Cecchetti, Federica De Lucia, Federica Biamonte, Luciano Colangelo, Giancarlo Ferrazza, Enrico Panzini, Alfredo Scillitani, Luciano Nieddu, Frank Blocki, Sudhaker D. Rao, Salvatore Minisola, Cristiana Cipriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: While the inverse relationship between serum ionized calcium (Ca2+) and PTH is well-established, the relationship between 25(OH)D and PTH showed conflicting results. The study aimed to evaluate the relative contributions of age, sex, serum Ca2+, ionized magnesium (Mg2+), 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D in regulating PTH secretion in healthy subjects. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of an observational study performed from March 2014 to July 2015 carried out in 2259 blood donors (1652 men and 607 women, age range 18–68 years). Subjects with parathyroid disorders and taking drugs that affect mineral metabolism were excluded. Results: Significant correlations [between Ca2+ and PTH (r = −0.223, p < 0.001), 25(OH)D and PTH (r = −0.178, p < 0.001) and between PTH and age (r = 0.322, p < 0.001)] were found. As a preliminary step to multivariate analysis, a regression tree analysis was performed using PTH as response variable and age, Ca2+, Mg2+, 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D and sex as explanatory variables to determine the effect of each covariate on the response variable. For subjects <38 years, 25(OH)D was the most important parameter in regulating PTH. For subjects ≥38 both 25(OH)D and Ca2+ levels regulated PTH secretion. Subjects with 25(OH)D < 13 ng/mL had average higher PTH; in this group only, subjects with Ca2+ ≥ 1.30 mmol/L had average lower PTH compared to subjects with Ca2+ < 1.30. The multivariate analysis showed that all variables had a significant effect (p < 0.001) on PTH. Anova Type III errors c indicated that 25(OH)D accounted for 32.1% of the total variance in PTH, Ca2+ accounted for 18% of the total variance, BMI for 14.3%, and 1,25(OH)2D for 11.1%. The remaining percentage was attributable to age and sex. This was confirmed by the regression tree approach, where 25(OH)D and Ca2+ accounted for the largest variation in the average levels of PTH. Discussion: Under stable conditions 25(OH)D plays a significant role in regulating PTH secretion. Under conditions of relative vitamin D sufficiency, Ca2+ also plays an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-206
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Aging
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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