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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2012 Sep;44(3):301-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2012.06.017. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Vitamin D deficiency may be an independent risk factor for arterial disease.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to assess the vitamin D status in patients with occlusive or aneurysmatic arterial disease in relation to clinical cardiovascular risk profiles and markers of atherosclerotic disease.


We included 490 patients with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD, n = 254) or aortic aneurysm (n = 236). Cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), ankle-brachial index (ABI), serum high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and vitamin D were assessed. Patients were categorised into severely (≤25 nmol l(-1)) or moderately (26-50 nmol l(-1)) vitamin D deficient, vitamin D insufficient (51-75 nmol l(-1)) or vitamin D sufficient (>75 nmol l(-1)).


Overall, 45% of patients suffered from moderate or severe vitamin D deficiency. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was similar in patients with PAD and those with an aortic aneurysm. Low levels of vitamin D were associated with congestive heart failure and cerebrovascular disease. Adjusting for clinical cardiovascular risk factors, multivariable regression analyses showed that low vitamin D status was associated with higher CIMT (P = 0.001), lower ABI (P < 0.001) and higher hs-CRP (P = 0.022).


The current study shows a strong association between low vitamin D status and arterial disease, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and irrespective of the type of vascular disease, that is, occlusive or aneurysmatic disease.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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