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Stiff arteries in seniors associated with low vitamin D levels – July 2012

Arterial Stiffness and Vitamin D Levels: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism July 5, 2012 jc.2012-1584
Francesco Giallauria giallauriaf at mail.nih.gov, Yuri Milaneschi, Toshiko Tanaka, Marcello Maggio, Marco Canepa, Palchamy Elango, Carlo Vigorito, Edward G. Lakatta, Luigi Ferrucci and James Strait
Longitudinal Studies Section (F.G., Y.M., T.T., P.E., L.F.), Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland 21225; Department of Clinical Medicine (F.G., C.V.), Cardiovascular and Immunological Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80131 Naples, Italy; Department of Psychiatry (Y.M.), VU University Medical Center/GGZ inGeest, 1081 HZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (M.M.), Section of Geriatrics, University of Parma, 43100 Parma, Italy; Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science (M.C., E.G.L., J.S.), National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland 21225

Context: The importance of vitamin D for bone health has long been acknowledged. Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D can also play a role in reducing the risk of several other diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

Objective: The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) is an independent cross-sectional correlate of central arterial stiffness in a normative aging study population.

Design and Settings: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis.

Subjects: We studied 1228 healthy volunteers (50% males; age, 70 ± 12 yr) of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.

Main Outcome Measures: We measured carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and 25-OH D levels.

Results: We found a significant inverse association between PWV and 25-OH D levels (adjusted r2 = 0.27; ? = ?0.43; P = 0.001).

After adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, season of blood draw, estimated glomerular filtration rate, physical activity level, cardiovascular risk factors score (smoking, visceral obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes), calcium/vitamin D supplementation, serum calcium, and PTH levels, the association between PWV and 25-OH D levels was only slightly reduced and remained statistically significant (adjusted r2 = 0.34; ? = ?0.34; P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Vitamin D levels are inversely associated with increased arterial stiffness in a normative aging population, irrespective of traditional risk factor burden. Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of this association and to test the hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation can reduce arterial stiffness.

Received March 5, 2012. Accepted June 20, 2012. Copyright © 2012 by The Endocrine Society
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