The prevalence of hypercalcemia in patients with untreated tuberculosis (TB) varies widely between countries. Since the vitamin D status and calcium intake are important determinants of hypercalcemia in TB, these two factors were compared among four populations (U.K., Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand) with a low prevalence (<3%) and two populations (Sweden, Australia) with a high prevalence (>25%). In the three Asian countries, the circulating vitamin D levels are abundant, but the calcium intakes are low. Subjects from the U.K. have the lowest circulating vitamin D level of all, although their calcium intake is high. In Sweden and Australia, both the circulating vitamin D levels and calcium intakes are high. Since serum 1,25(OH)2D concentration will only be raised if its substance for extrarenal conversion, 25(OH)D, is plentiful and the effect of a given serum 1,25 (OH)2D concentration on serum calcium is determined by the calcium intake, it is postulated that the regional variation in the prevalence of hypercalcemia in TB may be due to differences in the circulating vitamin D levels and calcium intakes in these populations.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.