Objective. To examine the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and the associations of vitamin D concentration with disease status in African Americans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. Study participants (n = 266) were enrolled in the Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African Americans with Early RA (CLEAR) Registry. The vitamin 25(OH)-D was measured on baseline plasma, and associations of 25(OH)-D with disease status (baseline and at 3 years' disease duration) were examined using univariate and multivariate regression. Results. The prevalence of 25(OH)-D insufficiency (≤ 37.5 nmol/l or 15 ng/ml) was 50%, with the highest prevalence in winter. In unadjusted analyses, vitamin D concentrations were inversely associated with baseline pain (p = 0.04), swollen joints (p = 0.04), and Disease Activity Score (DAS28, p = 0.05) but not with measures at 3 years' disease duration. There were no multivariate associations of 25(OH)-D with any disease measures at baseline or at 3 years, with the exception of a positive borderline association with rheumatoid factor positivity at enrollment (p = 0.05). Conclusion. Vitamin D insufficiency is common in African Americans with recent-onset RA. Unadjusted associations of circulating vitamin D with baseline pain, swollen joints, and DAS28 were explained by differences in season, age, and gender and were not significant in multivariate analyses. In contrast to reports of Northern Europeans with early inflammatory arthritis, there are not strong associations of 25(OH)-D concentration with symptoms or disease severity in African Americans with RA. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.