Vitamin D reserve is higher in women with endometriosis

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Background: An immune-mediated defect in recognition and elimination of endometrial fragments refluxed in the peritoneal cavity has been hypothesized to play a crucial role in endometriosis development. Since vitamin D is an effective modulator of the immune system, we have hypothesized that the vitamin D status may have a role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Methods: Women of reproductive age selected for surgery for gynecological indications were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3 and Ca2+ were assessed. Results: Eighty-seven women with endometriosis and 53 controls were recruited. Mean (± SD) levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 in women with and without endometriosis were 24.9 ± 14.8 ng/ml and 20.4 ± 11.8, respectively (P = 0.05). The Odds Ratio (95% Confidence Interval) for endometriosis in patients with levels exceeding the 75th percentile of the serum distribution of the molecule (28.2 ng/ml) was 4.8 (1.7-13.5). A positive gradient according to the severity of the disease was also documented. A trend towards higher levels of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3 and Ca2+ was observed in women with endometriosis, but differences did not reach statistical significance. As expected, serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3, but not Ca2+, are influenced by the season (P <0.001, P = 0.004, P = 0.57, respectively), while levels of the three molecules did not vary according to the phase of the menstrual cycle. Conclusions: Endometriosis is associated with higher serum levels of vitamin D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2273-2278
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Calcium
  • Endometriosis
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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