Systematic review: Vitamin D and cardiometabolic outcomes

Ann Intern Med. 2010 Mar 2;152(5):307-14. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-152-5-201003020-00009.


Background: Vitamin D may modify risk for cardiometabolic outcomes (type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease).

Purpose: To examine the association between vitamin D status, including the effect of vitamin D supplementation, and cardiometabolic outcomes in generally healthy adults.

Data sources: English-language studies in MEDLINE (inception to 4 November 2009) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (fourth quarter of 2009).

Study selection: 11 reviewers screened citations to identify longitudinal cohort studies that reported associations between vitamin D status and cardiometabolic outcomes, including randomized trials of vitamin D supplementation.

Data extraction: 5 independent reviewers extracted data about study conduct, participant characteristics, outcomes, and quality. Differences were resolved by consensus.

Data synthesis: 13 observational studies (14 cohorts) and 18 trials were eligible. Three of 6 analyses (from 4 different cohorts) reported a lower incident diabetes risk in the highest versus the lowest vitamin D status groups. Eight trials found no effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycemia or incident diabetes. In meta-analysis of 3 cohorts, lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was associated with incident hypertension (relative risk, 1.8 [95% CI, 1.3 to 2.4]). In meta-analyses of 10 trials, supplementation nonsignificantly reduced systolic blood pressure (weighted mean difference, -1.9 mm Hg [CI, -4.2 to 0.4 mm Hg]) and did not affect diastolic blood pressure (weighted mean difference, -0.1 mm Hg [CI, -0.7 to 0.5 mm Hg]). Lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was associated with incident cardiovascular disease in 5 of 7 analyses (6 cohorts). Four trials found no effect of supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes.

Limitations: Studies included primarily white participants. Observational studies were heterogeneous. Several trials reported post hoc analyses.

Conclusion: The association between vitamin D status and cardiometabolic outcomes is uncertain. Trials showed no clinically significant effect of vitamin D supplementation at the dosages given.

Primary funding source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Public Health Agency of Canada.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D