BackgroundVitamin D levels, as measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin-D [25(OH) D], are inversely related to the risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Given shared demographic and lifestyle factors among members of the same household, we sought to examine vitamin D levels and associated lifestyle factors in household members of CRC patients.
MethodsThirty patients with pathologically confirmed CRC were enrolled prior to oncologic therapy along with unrelated household members who were matched for age (+/- 5 years) and race. In addition to serum blood draws for 25(OH)D levels at baseline and six-month follow-up, questionnaires collected gender, vitamin use, body mass index, family history of CRC, race, dietary vitamin D, UV exposure, and exercise.
ResultsMedian serum 25(OH) D levels were 26.8 ng/mL for CRC patients versus 27.3 for household members (P=0.89). Vitamin-D associated factors such as dietary vitamin D intake, UV exposure, gender, multivitamin use, vitamin D supplement use, and family history of CRC were not significantly different between CRC patients and paired household members (P>0.05). Household members were more likely than CRC patients to be overweight and to exercise more.
ConclusionsVitamin D levels and many associated lifestyle factors were not significantly different between CRC patients and unrelated paired household members. Given comparable vitamin D levels, further investigation into whether age-matched household members of CRC patients may be at increased risk for CRC is warranted.