Objectives: This study was designed to evaluate the association between vitamin D status and congestive heart failure (CHF).
Background: Impaired intracellular calcium metabolism is an important factor in the pathogenesis of CHF. The etiology of CHF, however, is not well understood.
Methods: Twenty patients age <50 years and 34 patients age >/=50 years with New York Heart Association classes >/=2 and 34 control subjects age >/=50 years were recruited. N-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (NT-proANP), a predictor of CHF severity; vitamin D metabolites; and parameters of calcium metabolism were measured in fasting blood samples collected between November 2000 and March 2001.
Results: Both groups of CHF patients had markedly increased serum levels of NT-proANP (p < 0.001), increased serum phosphorus levels (p < 0.001), and reduced circulating levels of both 25-hydroxyvitamin D (p < 0.001) and calcitriol (p < 0.001). Albumin-corrected calcium levels were reduced and parathyroid hormone levels were increased in the younger CHF patients compared with the controls (both p values <0.001). Moreover, parathyroid hormone levels tended to be higher in the elderly CHF patients than in the controls (p = 0.074). In a nonlinear regression analysis 25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcitriol were inversely correlated with NT-proANP (r(2) = 0.16; p < 0.001 and r(2) = 0.12; p < 0.01, respectively). The vitamin D genotype at the BmsI restriction site did not differ between the study groups.
Conclusions: The low vitamin D status can explain alterations in mineral metabolism as well as myocardial dysfunction in the CHF patients, and it may therefore be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of CHF.