Low Vitamin D Related to Atherosclerosis
January 02, 2008
The lower the level of vitamin D, the more likely that calcium will build up in fatty plaques in the coronary arteries. The inverse relationship also holds: the higher the level of vitamin D, the less likely calcium will build up in atherosclerotic plaque. The relationship was unexpected, because -- at least in bones -- the higher the vitamin D level, the more likely calcium is to accumulate.
Researchers thought that development of atherosclerotic calcification would respond in the same way as bone -- that high vitamin D would lead to higher calcium absorption, but serum vitamin D seems to have an opposite effect on the skeleton as it does on the vessels. About 90% of patients with coronary heart disease have deposits of calcium in the fatty plaques clogging their arteries.
Circulation September 1997;96:1755-1760