Are Low Levels of Vitamin D in Youth a Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

A recently published study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism presented data from investigators in Finland who looked at 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels [25(OH)D] in 2148 subjects enrolled in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study.  Their objective was to see if there was a relationship between 25(OH)D levels and  carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) when subjects reached adulthood.  Stored serum obtained in 1980  from children and adolescents ages 3-18 years at that time was used to measure the vitamin D levels in 2010 and results then compared to CIMT results in 2007 from these same subjects, then aged 30-45 years. High risk CIMT was defined as those adults whose CIMT revealed carotid plaque or fell into the highest decile for carotid bulb or common carotid IMT.  Results revealed that the children with 25(OH)D levels under 40 nmol/L had significantly( P=0.0007) higher odds of having high-risk CIMT despite adjustments for childhood risk factors, age, and sex or adult risk factors (P =0.0004).

REFERENCE:  Juonala M, Voipio A, Pahkala K, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Childhood 25-OH Vitamin D Levels and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. 2015 Feb 10:jc20143944.

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