Low Vitamin D May Not Raise Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Published Online: Friday, May 17, 2013
Although previous studies have suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes, new research suggests otherwise. A recent study published online on March 25, 2013, in Diabetes Care found no association between vitamin D levels and atherosclerosis in adults with type 1 diabetes.

The researchers analyzed plasma samples taken in 1992 in nearly 1200 participants from the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications who had been diagnosed with diabetes for an average of 7.5 years.

From the samples, researchers measured vitamin D intake, vitamin D activity, and vitamin D turnover. Ten years after initial testing, participants’ coronary artery calcium was measured using computed tomography imaging. They were also measured for changes in internal and common carotid artery in 1994 and 2000.

The researchers found that participants with a vitamin D deficiency tended to have a lower risk for coronary artery calcium 10 years later. They found no correlation between plasma levels of vitamin D metabolites and carotid intima media thickness.

“We’re not ready to accept these results as definitive, but they’re important to publish,” lead author Michael C. Sachs, PhD, from the University of Washington, Seattle, told Medscape Medical News.

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