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PLoS One. 2016 Oct 21;11(10):e0165157. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165157. eCollection 2016.

The Associations of Serum Lipids with Vitamin D Status.

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Center for Special Medicine and Experimental Research, 306th Hospital of PLA, Beijing, P. R. China.
Center for Physical Examination, 306th Hospital of PLA Beijing, P. R. China.



Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with some disorders including cardiovascular diseases. Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. However, data about the relationships between vitamin D and lipids are inconsistent. The relationship of vitamin D and Atherogenic Index of Plasma (AIP), as an excellent predictor of level of small and dense LDL, has not been reported. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of vitamin D status on serum lipids in Chinese adults.


The study was carried out using 1475 participants from the Center for Physical Examination, 306 Hospital of PLA in Beijing, China. Fasting blood samples were collected and serum concentrations of 25(OH)D, total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were measured. AIP was calculated based on the formula: log [TG/HDL-C]. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to estimate the associations between serum 25(OH)D and lipids. The association between the occurrences of dyslipidemias and vitamin D levels was assessed by multiple logistic regression analysis. Confounding factors, age and BMI, were used for the adjustment.


The median of serum 25(OH)D concentration was 47 (27-92.25) nmol/L in all subjects. The overall percentage of 25(OH)D ≦ 50 nmol/L was 58.5% (males 54.4%, females 63.7%). The serum 25(OH)D levels were inversely associated with TG (β coefficient = -0.24, p < 0.001) and LDL-C (β coefficient = -0.34, p < 0.001) and positively associated with TC (β coefficient = 0.35, p < 0.002) in men. The associations between serum 25(OH)D and LDL-C (β coefficient = -0.25, p = 0.01) and TC (β coefficient = 0.39, p = 0.001) also existed in women. The serum 25(OH)D concentrations were negatively associated with AIP in men (r = -0.111, p < 0.01) but not in women. In addition, vitamin D deficient men had higher AIP values than vitamin D sufficient men. Furthermore, the occurrences of dyslipidemias (reduced HDL-C, elevated TG and elevated AIP) correlated with lower 25(OH)D levels in men, whereas the higher TC and LDL-C associated with higher 25(OH)D levels in women.


It seems that the serum 25(OH)D levels are closely associated with the serum lipids and AIP. Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with the increased risk of dyslipidemias, especially in men. The association between vitamin D status and serum lipids may differ by genders.

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