Arterial stiffness and vitamin D levels: The Baltimore longitudinal study of aging

Francesco Giallauria, Yuri Milaneschi, Toshiko Tanaka, Marcello Maggio, Marco Canepa, Palchamy Elango, Carlo Vigorito, Edward G. Lakatta, Luigi Ferrucci, James Strait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The importance of vitamin D for bone health has long been acknowledged. Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D can also play a role in reducing the risk of several other diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Objective: The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) is an independent cross-sectional correlate of central arterial stiffness in a normative aging study population. Design and Settings: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis. Subjects: We studied 1228 healthy volunteers (50% males; age, 70 ± 12 yr) of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Main Outcome Measures: We measured carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and 25-OH D levels. Results: We found a significant inverse association between PWV and 25-OH D levels (adjusted r2 = 0.27; β = -0.43; P = 0.001). After adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, season of blood draw, estimated glomerular filtration rate, physical activity level, cardiovascular risk factors score (smoking, visceral obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and diabetes), calcium/vitamin D supplementation, serum calcium, and PTH levels, the association between PWV and 25-OH D levels was only slightly reduced and remained statistically significant (adjusted r2 = 0.34; β = -0.34; P = 0.04). Conclusions: Vitamin D levels are inversely associated with increased arterial stiffness in a normative aging population, irrespective of traditional risk factor burden. Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of this association and to test the hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation can reduce arterial stiffness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3717-3723
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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