Postmenopause vitamin D deficiency associated with disc degeneration and lower back pain 絕經後維生素 D 缺乏與椎間盤退變和腰痛相關

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News Release 12-Feb-2020

New study identifies vitamin D deficiency, as well as smoking, high body mass index, and osteoporosis, as key causes of increased degeneration and pain and documents the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in postmenopausal women

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (February 12, 2020)–Lumbar disc degeneration and resulting lower back pain become greater concerns with age and disproportionately affect women more than men, likely as a result of decreasing estrogen levels during menopause. A new study demonstrates that vitamin D deficiency, smoking, high body mass index (BMI), and osteoporosis are risk factors for greater back pain. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Lumbar disc degeneration is a common musculoskeletal disease that often causes lower back pain. Previous studies have shown the effect of estrogen on disc degeneration, which partially explains why degeneration is more severe in postmenopausal women than in men of the same age. In addition to lower estrogen concentrations, vitamin D deficiency is common during the postmenopause period.

Vitamin D is critical in maintaining levels of calcium and phosphorus, helping to prevent bone diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with lower back pain and that supplementation can relieve this pain and improve musculoskeletal strength. But few studies have been conducted regarding the role of vitamin D in spinal degeneration, especially in postmenopausal women.

This new study evaluated vitamin D status in postmenopausal women and its relationship with disc degeneration and lower back pain. It concluded that vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in postmenopausal women and that a serum concentration of vitamin D less than 10 ng/mL, indicating severe deficiency, should be considered an indicator of severe disc degeneration and lower back pain. It further identified additional risk factors such as smoking, high BMI, and osteoporosis for lower back pain beyond vitamin D deficiency.

Study results appear in the article “Does vitamin D status influence lumbar disc degeneration and low back pain in postmenopausal women? A retrospective, single-center study.”

“This study shows that very low vitamin D levels were linked to a greater likelihood of moderate to severe lower back pain and more severe lumbar disc degeneration, possibly because of the beneficial effects vitamin D has on nerve and muscle pain sensitivity, muscle strength and mass, and inflammation. Although not all women need vitamin D supplementation, this speaks to the importance of avoiding severe vitamin D deficiency states,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.


For more information about menopause and healthy aging, visit

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field–including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education–makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit


这项新研究评估了绝经后妇女的维生素D状况及其与椎间盘退变和下腰痛的关系。结论是,维生素D缺乏症在绝经后妇女中非常普遍,并且维生素D的血清浓度低于10 ng / mL(表明严重缺乏症)应被视为严重的椎间盘退变和腰痛的指标。它进一步确定了其他危险因素,例如吸烟,高BMI和骨质疏松症,可引起维生素D缺乏症以外的腰背痛。
“这项研究表明,极低的维生素D水平与中度至严重的下腰痛和更严重的腰椎间盘退变的可能性更大有关,这可能是由于维生素D对神经和肌肉疼痛敏感性,肌肉力量和质量的有益作用尽管并非所有女性都需要补充维生素D,但这说明了避免严重的维生素D缺乏状态的重要性。” NAMS医学总监Stephanie Faubion博士说。

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