Vitamin D Related to Measurement of Atherosclerosis
Lower serum vitamin D levels correlate with increased carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT), according to a study recently published in March 2015. Carotid intima-media thickness is a measurement of atherosclerosis, which manifests as coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease. It is estimated that these conditions will affect two of three men and one in two women after age 40.
The subjects included 926 postmenopausal women without carotid artery plaque or history of cardiovascular disease. The researchers measured serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 25(OH)D3 and assessed carotid intima-media thickness using ultrasound.
The median serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were 11.03 ng/mL. As serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels decreased, carotid intima-media thickness increased. Additionally, the researchers found that even after controlling the data for potential confounding factors, the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 level independently and negatively were associated with carotid intima-media thickness. Furthermore, this correlation remained even in a subgroup of women with normal glucose tolerance, blood pressure, and body mass index, and who were not on lipid-lowering therapy.
The researchers concluded, “Serum 25(OH)D3 level was inversely correlated with C-IMT in Chinese postmenopausal women.”
Hao Y, et al. PLoS One. 2015;10(3):e0122803.