PURPOSE: Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is common in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We hypothesized that the relationship between hypovitaminosis D and PN described in diabetes mellitus patients may also be present in MM patients.
METHODS: To study this potential association, we assessed the incidence of hypovitaminosis D (vitamin D < 75 nmol/L [= 30 ng/mL]) in smouldering and active MM patients in two Dutch hospitals. Furthermore, a validated questionnaire was used to distinguish different PN grades.
RESULTS: Of the 120 patients included between January 2017 and August 2018, 84% had an inadequate vitamin D level (median vitamin D level 49.5 nmol/L [IQR 34-65 nmol/L]; mean age: 68 years [SD ± 7.7]; males: 58%). PN was reported by 69% of patients (n = 83); however, of these 83 patients, PN was not documented in the medical records of 52%. An association was found between lower vitamin D levels and higher incidence of PN in the total population (P = 0.035), and in the active MM patients (P = 0.016).
CONCLUSION: This multi-centre cohort study showed that PN and hypovitaminosis D are common in MM patients, and addressing low vitamin D levels in the treatment of MM patients might be beneficial in reducing the risk of PN. More attention for PN is warranted, as PN is underreported by clinicians. Further research is needed to fully understand the implications of vitamin D in the development of PN in patients with MM.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherland Trial Register NL5835, date of registration July 28, 2016.