Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and lumbar disc degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Our study was designed to assess the contributions of the physical and constitutional factors to osteophyte formation, disc degeneration, and bone mineral density (BMD) in lumbar vertebrae of elderly postmenopausal women. A total of 126 Japanese women with back pain, aged over 60 years, were invited to participate in the study. Then 80 subjects with a full set of data for physical examinations, radiographs, MRI, and DXA were examined. TaqI polymorphism of vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene was examined in 60 subjects. Prevalence rates of osteophytes (on radiographs) and disc degeneration (on MRI) were 61 and 68%, respectively. Body weight and BMI correlated significantly with anteroposterior (AP) and lateral (LAT) BMD (r = 0.354 for weight, r = 0.347 for BMI) and mean osteophyte area (r = 0.557 for weight, r = 0.486 for BMI), and body weight also correlated with number of discs with osteophytes. However, these did not correlate with the disc area or the number of degenerated discs. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that body weight and LAT-BMD values independently related to the osteophyte area. Disc area (r = 0.386 for AP view) and osteophyte area (r = 0.384 for AP view) significantly correlated with BMD. However, disc area and osteophyte area did not correlate with each other (r = 0.056). The proportion of degenerated discs was higher in the lower lumbar discs, but not the proportion of discs with osteophytes. Frequencies of T and t alleles of VDR did not correlate with disc degeneration, osteophyte formation, or osteoporosis. Our data showed that increases in osteophyte formation and BMD in the lumbar vertebrae are influenced by body weight and BMI, but did not correlate with disc area, which correlated inversely with BMD. Disc degeneration and osteophyte formation seem to represent two different factors that affect lumbar spine in elderly women.