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P02.92. The effect of physical activity, obesity, and low vitamin D on all cause mortality in US adults


To examine the effect of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (serum 25 (OH) D), body mass index and leisure time physical activity on all-cause mortality and determine the association between serum 25 (OH) D and leisure time physical activity among US adults.


We used data from 16,285 adults 20 years and older who participated in a home interview and a mobile examination of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994) that were linked to National Death Index mortality files up to 2006. Physical activity categories included: Inactive (less than 1/wk), Somewhat active (2-4 times/wk), and Active (5+/wk). Body mass index (BMI) included: Underweight (<18.5), Normal weight (18.5-24.9), Overweight (25-29.9), and Obese (30+). Serum 25(OH) D were divided into quartiles, and quartile 1 or low levels included those with values of ≤ 50 nmol/L. Cox proportional hazards were calculated using SAS and SUDAAN softwares to account for sampling weights of NHANES.


In the final model we adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, smoking status, region of the country, and presence of chronic diseases plus the three variables of interest: physical activity, body mass index, and serum 25(OH)D. Low serum vitamin D was a significant predictor of all cause mortality independent of physical activity and obesity status; and while being physically active 5 or more times a week had a protective effect (RR=0.65, 95 CI=0.58,0.74), obesity was not significantly related (1.06, 95 CI=0.96-1.18) with all cause mortality.


We found that low Vitamin D and physical inactivity were independent risk factors for all-cause mortality whereas obesity was not an independent risk factor when adjusting for physical activity and serum Vitamin D levels. More research is needed to understand the role of adiposity in serum 25(OH)D metabolism.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Crespo, C., Escutia-Dominguez, G., Smit, E. et al. P02.92. The effect of physical activity, obesity, and low vitamin D on all cause mortality in US adults. BMC Complement Altern Med 12 (Suppl 1), P148 (2012).

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