Objectives: Vitamin K is an important co-factor in the production of proteins that inhibit vascular calcification. A low dietary Vitamin K intake has been associated with aortic and coronary calcifications and an elevated cardiovascular risk. Calcifications in the arteries of the breasts have also been associated with cardiovascular risk, but whether there is a relation with a low Vitamin K intake has not yet been studied.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 1689 women, aged 49-70 years. Dietary Vitamins K1 and K2 intake was calculated from a validated food frequency questionnaire. Breast arterial calcifications (BAC) were assessed on standard screening mammograms by two independent radiologists. With a general linear model mean Vitamins K1, K2 and Vitamin K2 subtypes were calculated for women with BAC and without, adjusted for age, smoking, diabetes, intake of saturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, poly-unsaturated fat and protein- and calcium-intake.
Results: BAC was less common in the highest (9%) quartile of Vitamin K2 intake, compared to the lowest (13%) (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.5-1.1) and not different across quartiles of Vitamin K1 intake. Mean Vitamin K2 levels and mean levels of Vitamin K2 subtypes MK-5 through MK-10 were lower in the participants with BAC (p=0.01) compared to participants without BAC. However, after adjustment for aging, smoking, diabetes and dietary factors the association of mean Vitamin K2 intake with BAC was no longer significant.
Conclusion: Calcifications in breast arteries are not associated with a lower dietary intake of Vitamin K.