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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Apr;100(4):1469-76. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-3944. Epub 2015 Feb 10.

Childhood 25-OH vitamin D levels and carotid intima-media thickness in adulthood: the cardiovascular risk in young Finns study.

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Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine (M.J., A.V., K.P., C.G.M., O.T.R.) and the Departments of Medicine (M.J., J.S.A.V.), University of Turku, 20520 Turku, Finland; Division of Medicine (M.J., J.S.A.V.) and Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine (O.T.R.), Turku University Hospital, 20520 Turku, Finland; Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Royal Children's Hospital (M.J., D.B., M.A.S.), 3052 Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Paavo Nurmi Centre, Sports and Exercise Medicine Unit, Department of Physical Activity and Health (K.P.), University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, 20520 Turku, Finland; Department of Food and Environmental Sciences (V.M.) and Hospital for Children and Adolescents (E.J.), University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland; Departments of Clinical Physiology (M.K.) and Pediatrics (N.H-K.), University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, 33520 Tampere, Finland; National Institute of Health and Welfare, Department of Chronic Disease Prevention (A.J., J.M., B-M.L.), 20720 Turku, Finland; Department of Paediatrics (D.B., M.A.S.), University of Melbourne, 3010 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Department of Paediatrics (D.B.), Monash University, 3800 Clayton, Victoria, Australia; Department of Pediatrics (L.T.), Vaasa Central Hospital, 65130 Vaasa, Finland; Department of Pediatrics (L.T.), University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland; Department of Clinical Physiology, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital (T.L.), 70029 Kuopio, Finland; and Menzies Research Institute (C.G.M.), 7000 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.



Low vitamin D levels in adulthood have been associated with cardiovascular disease.


To investigate if low vitamin D levels in childhood are related with increased carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in adulthood.


The analyses included 2148 subjects from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, aged 3-18 years at baseline (in 1980). Subjects were re-examined at age 30-45 years (in 2007). Childhood levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D were measured from stored serum in 2010.


The carotid artery IMT from 2007 was used.


When adjusted for age, sex, and childhood risk factors, continuous data of childhood 25-OH vitamin was inversely associated with adulthood carotid IMT levels among females (β ± SE -0.006 ± 0.003, P = 0.03), but not among males (0.001 ± 0.004, P = 0.88). Children with 25-OH vitamin D levels in the lowest quartile (<40 nmol/L) had significantly increased odds of having high-risk IMT (highest decile of common carotid or carotid bulb IMT or carotid plaque) as adults, in analyses adjusted for age, sex and either childhood risk factors (odds ratio 1.70 [95 % CI 1.15-2.31], P = 0.0007) or adult risk factors, including adult vitamin D levels (odds ratio 1.80 [1.30-2.48], P = 0.0004). In sex-specific analyses, these associations were significant both in females and males (P always <0.05). In sensitivity analyses, those with childhood vitamin D levels in the lowest quintile (<37 nmol/L), gave similar results to those using a quartile cut-point.


Low 25-OH vitamin D levels in childhood were associated with increased carotid IMT in adulthood.

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