Little is known regarding factors associated with calcitriol and a relative measure of calcitriol, the calcitriol-24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-calcifediol proportion ratio (C24CPR).
Using a cross-sectional study design, healthy young adults of African and European descent, matched (1:1) on age (±5 years) provided a blood sample in non-summer months (N = 376). Vitamin D metabolites were measured in plasma with HPLC/MS-MS. West African genetic ancestry proportion (WGA) was estimated using STRUCTURE modeling of genetic ancestry-informative markers. Multivariable regression models were used to estimate the association of WGA and vitamin D–pathway gene variants with calcitriol and C24CPR, controlling for days from summer solstice, age, sex, blood pressure, body mass index, dietary vitamin D intake, oral contraceptive/medroxyprogesterone acetate use, smoking, tanning bed use, and time of day.
Calcitriol and C24CPR were not highly correlated (rho = 0.14), although both were significantly, positively, and monotonically associated with WGA (Ptrend 0.025 and <0.001, respectively). In fully adjusted models, genetic factors explained a greater proportion of variability in C24CPR (R2 = 0.121 and 0.310, respectively). Variants in genes with associated with calcitriol (CALB1, CYP27B1, GC, and PPARGC1A) differed from those associated with C24CPR (CYP3A43, FGF23, KL, and VDR).
Both absolute and relative measures of calcitriol were significantly higher among African Americans. Otherwise, these biomarkers appear to be genetically distinct.
C24CPR may be better suited to personalized medicine, due to a higher proportion of population variability explained by genetic variation and a less skewed distribution.