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Atherosclerosis. 2012 Jan;220(1):265-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.10.023. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Vitamin D deficiency and endothelial dysfunction in non-dialysis chronic kidney disease patients.

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Renal and Transplantation Unit, St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust and Cardiovascular Sciences Research Centre, St Georges, University of London, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, London SW17 0QT, UK.



Cardiovascular (CV) events are common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) but inadequately explained by traditional risk factors. Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in CKD and has been proposed to be a non-traditional risk factor, but its relationship with vascular function is unknown.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between vitamin D levels and endothelial function in non-diabetes patients with mild to moderate CKD. Endothelial function was measured non-invasively using brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD). 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. In 50 CKD patients (age 56±11 years, BMI 25±4kg/m(2), 46% females, 14% smokers, 86% hypertensives, 52% with dyslipidaemia) the mean vitamin D level was 53±33nmol/L (21±13ng/L). The mean FMD was 3.8±2.4%. Decreasing 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels were associated with decreasing FMD [r=0.44, p=0.001]. In multivariate analysis the association remained independent after adjustment with traditional risk factors (adjusted beta 0.451; t=3.46; p<0.002). Patients with low vitamin D (≤37.5nmol/L) demonstrated low FMD compared to patients with vitamin D values >37.5nmol/L (4.4±2.5% vs. 2.5±1.6%; p=0.007); however the traditional risk factors were similar between the two groups.


This is the first demonstration of an association of vitamin D deficiency with abnormal vascular endothelial function in non-dialysis CKD patients. Further studies with intervention and exploration of the mechanism are needed to establish a cause effect relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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