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Eur J Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;167(4):553-60. doi: 10.1530/EJE-12-0283. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Vitamin D deficiency in postmenopausal, healthy women predicts increased cardiovascular events: a 16-year follow-up study.

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Department of Endocrinology, Hvidovre Hospital, afd. 541, Kettegård alle 30, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark.



To investigate the relationship between vitamin D status in healthy women and cardiovascular outcome.


Between 1990 and 1993, 2016 healthy, recently postmenopausal women were enrolled in the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D, nmol/l) were measured at baseline. Participants were followed for 16 years. The primary end point was a combination of death, heart failure, myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as serum 25(OH)D<50 nmol/l. The primary end point was adjusted for other risk factors of adverse cardiovascular events (age, smoking, blood pressure, hip-waist ratio, education and family history of MI).


At baseline, mean age was 50 years and BMI 25. Women with vitamin D deficiency (n=788) had more cardiovascular risk factors than vitamin D-replete women (n=1225). Compared with vitamin D-replete women, women with low 25(OH)D levels had significantly higher BMI and triglycerides, lower HDL and hip-waist ratio and less education. More were smokers among the vitamin D deficient (47 vs 38%). A primary end point was experienced by 118 (15%) with vitamin D deficiency and by 125 (10%) of the vitamin D replete. Hazard ratio (HR) was 1.49 (95% confidence interval: 1.16-1.92; P=0.002) in the vitamin D deficient. Adjusted HR was 1.32 (1.02-1.71; P=0.03). In total, 135 women died; of these, 65 (8%) were of the vitamin D deficient and 70 (6%) in the vitamin D-replete group; unadjusted HR was 1.44 (1.02-2.01; P=0.04) for vitamin D deficiency.


Healthy women with vitamin D deficiency have increased risk of adverse cardiovascular outcome.

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