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Prehypertension 48 percent more likely with low vitamin D – Sept 2011

Serum Vitamin D Level and Prehypertension among Subjects Free of Hypertension.

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2011 Sep 21;35(2):106-113.
Sabanayagam C, Shankar A ashankar at hsc.wvu.edu, Somasundaram S.
Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, W. Va., USA.

Background: Low serum vitamin D levels are associated with high blood pressure (BP). Prehypertension is a preclinical stage where primary prevention efforts have been recommended for delaying or preventing the onset of hypertension. However, the majority of studies examining the association between vitamin D and BP have not accounted for kidney function or systemic inflammation.

Methods: Participants of the 3rd National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey >20 years of age and free of hypertension (n = 9,215, 53.5% women) and clinical cardiovascular disease were examined. Serum vitamin D levels were analyzed as quartiles. Prehypertension (n = 3,712) was defined as systolic BP 120-139 mm Hg or diastolic BP 80-89 mm Hg.

Results: Lower serum vitamin D levels were found to be associated with prehypertension independent of potential confounders including body mass index (BMI), serum cholesterol, C-reactive protein and estimated glomerular filtration rate. Compared to the highest quartile of serum vitamin D (referent), the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of prehypertension associated with the lowest quartile was 1.48 (1.16-1.90; p trend <0.0001). This association persisted in subgroup analyses by gender, race-ethnicity and BMI.

Conclusion: Lower serum vitamin D levels are associated with prehypertension in a representative sample of US adults.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID: 21934326

Following are highlights from Food Consumer description of the study


  • systolic pressure at 120 to 139 mm Hg or a
  • diastolic pressure at 80 to 89 mm Hg.


  • systolic pressure >140 mm Hg.
  • diastolic pressure >90 mm Hg.

Prehypertension generally associated with

  • overweight,
  • a family history of hypertension,
  • a sedentary lifestyle,
  • eating high sodium foods,
  • smoking,
  • excessive alcohol intake

Prehypertension (30% of US population)

  • 3X more likely to suffer a heart attack
  • 1.7 X more likely to experience heart disease

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See also VitaminDWiki