Vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and cardiovascular events among older adults

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Sep 27;58(14):1433-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.03.069.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations separately and in combination with incident cardiovascular events and mortality during 14 years of follow-up in the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study).

Background: Vitamin D deficiency and PTH excess are common in older adults and may adversely affect cardiovascular health.

Methods: A total of 2,312 participants who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline were studied. Vitamin D and intact PTH were measured from previously frozen serum using mass spectrometry and a 2-site immunoassay. Outcomes were adjudicated cases of myocardial infarction, heart failure, cardiovascular death, and all-cause mortality.

Results: There were 384 participants (17%) with serum 25-OHD concentrations <15 ng/ml and 570 (25%) with serum PTH concentrations ≥ 65 pg/ml. After adjustment, each 10 ng/ml lower 25-OHD concentration was associated with a 9% greater (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2% to 17% greater) relative hazard of mortality and a 25% greater (95% CI: 8% to 44% greater) relative hazard of myocardial infarction. Serum 25-OHD concentrations <15 ng/ml were associated with a 29% greater (95% CI: 5% to 55% greater) risk for mortality. Serum PTH concentrations ≥ 65 pg/ml were associated with a 30% greater risk for heart failure (95% CI: 6% to 61% greater) but not other outcomes. There was no evidence of an interaction between serum 25-OHD and PTH concentrations and cardiovascular events.

Conclusions: Among older adults, 25-OHD deficiency is associated with myocardial infarction and mortality; PTH excess is associated with heart failure. Vitamin D and PTH might influence cardiovascular risk through divergent pathways.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D