Childhood 25-OH Vitamin D Levels and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study


  • There is increasing interest in the association between vitamin D and atherosclerotic disease
  • Low levels of vitamin D have been shown to be related to increased risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and total cardiovascular events
  • Increased carotid IMT is a marker of structural atherosclerosis, which correlates with cardiovascular risk factors, and predicts cardiovascular events

Juonala M et al. aimed to examine the relationship between low childhood vitamin D levels and adult carotid IMT.

Salient Features

  • Analyses included 2148 subjects from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, aged 3¨C18 years at baseline (in 1980)
  • Subjects were re-examined at age 30¨C45 years (in 2007)
  • Childhood levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D were measured from stored serum in 2010
  • Main Outcome Measure ¨C CIMT (from 2007 was used)
  • Data of childhood 25-OH vitamin D was inversely associated with adulthood carotid  IMT levels among females (¦Â¡ÀSE-0.006¡À0.003,p=0.03), but not among males (0.001¡À0.004, 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¨C2.31], p=0.0007) or adult risk factors, including adult vitamin D levels (odds ratio 1.80 [1.30¨C2.48], 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

The authors concluded that low 25-OH vitamin D levels in childhood were associated with increased carotid IMT in adulthood.

The full-text can be accessed at the below mentioned link.

See article on ‘why breakfast is the most important meal’ of the day by Dr Vivek Baliga here.


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