Certain vitamin D receptor polymorphisms correlated with vitiligo susceptibility

A recent meta-analysis found that vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms ApaI and BsmI were correlated with vitiligo susceptibility.

The analysis, led by Young Ho Lee, MD, PhD, of Korea University’s Department of Rheumatology Medicine, was conducted to explore the association between VDR polymorphisms and patient susceptibility to depigmentation disease. .

Previous investigations of VDR polymorphisms and susceptibility to vitiligo have led to conflicting data, with some studies finding a correlation and others finding none.

“These disparities are likely due to small sample sizes, low statistical power, and/or clinical heterogeneity,” Lee and colleagues wrote. “To overcome the limitations of individual studies, resolve discrepancies, and reduce the likelihood that random errors are responsible for false positive or false negative associations, we conducted an updated meta-analysis to determine whether VDR ApaI, TaqI, BsmI and TaqI polymorphisms are correlated with susceptibility to vitiligo.


The investigators’ meta-analysis included 13 articles in total with 2,034 patients and 2,771 control group participants, using multiple databases to assess studies on the topic. In their analysis, the investigators used homozygous contrast, allelic contrast, and recessive/dominant patterns.

They included studies if they met the following inclusion criteria: they were case-control studies; they examined VDR polymorphisms in vitiligo and control groups; adequate data were included to develop an odds ratio (OR).

Studies were excluded if they contained overlapping data, if they could not find the number of null and wild-type genotypes/alleles, or if they were studies in which family members were analyzed – a transmission imbalance test, for example – because these would be based on link considerations.


The investigators’ meta-analysis revealed that of the 15 articles selected for full-text review, 11 studies analyzed the VDR ApaI polymorphism, 12 analyzed the VDR TaqI polymorphism, 7 studied the BsmI polymorphism, and 8 examined the VDR FokI polymorphism.

Their meta-analysis of the VDR ApaI polymorphism determined that there was no correlation between vitiligo and the VDR ApaI A allele (OR=0.889, 95% CI=0.713-1.109, P = 0.298) in European, Asian, Arab and Latin American populations assessed. However, in the Asian population exclusively, they found a correlation between the VDR ApaI A allele and vitiligo (OR = 0.721, 95% CI = 0.553–0.940, P = 0.016).

“Based on the underlying ethnic variations, our findings underscore the need for further research into the links between VDR polymorphisms and vitiligo in various ethnic groups,” they wrote. “To fully understand the importance of VDR gene variants in the development of vitiligo, large-scale research in people of diverse ethnicities is needed.”

The study, “Association between vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and susceptibility to vitiligo: an updated meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

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