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Nat Rev Cardiol. 2016 Jul;13(7):404-17. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2016.73. Epub 2016 May 6.

Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease prevention.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria.
Swiss Cardiovascular Center Bern, Department of Cardiology, Bern University Hospital, Freiburgstrasse 8, 3010 Bern, Switzerland.
Specialist Clinic of Rehabilitation PV Bad Aussee, Braungasse 354, 8990 Bad Aussee, Austria.
Clinical Institute of Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria.
Medical Clinic V (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Endocrinology, Diabetology, Rheumatology), Mannheim Medical Faculty, University of Heidelberg, Theodor Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.
Synlab Academy, Synlab Holding Deutschland GmbH Augsburg, Gottlieb Daimler Strasse 25, 68165 Mannheim, Germany.


Vitamin D is a precursor of the steroid hormone calcitriol that is crucial for bone and mineral metabolism. Both the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the general population and the identification of the vitamin D receptor in the heart and blood vessels raised interest in the potential cardiovascular effects of vitamin D. Experimental studies have demonstrated various cardiovascular protective actions of vitamin D, but vitamin D intoxication in animals is known to induce vascular calcification. In meta-analyses of epidemiological studies, vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. Findings from Mendelian randomization studies and randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) do not indicate significant effects of a general vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes. Previous RCTs, however, were not adequately designed to address extraskeletal events, and did not focus on vitamin D-deficient individuals. Therefore, currently available evidence does not support cardiovascular benefits or harms of vitamin D supplementation with the commonly used doses, and whether vitamin D has cardiovascular effects in individuals with overt vitamin D deficiency remains to be evaluated. Here, we provide an update on clinical studies on vitamin D and cardiovascular risk, discuss ongoing vitamin D research, and consider the management of vitamin D deficiency from a cardiovascular health perspective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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