New insights about vitamin D and cardiovascular disease: a narrative review

Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 20;155(12):820-6. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-12-201112200-00004.


The worsening worldwide trend toward nutritional insufficiency and the emerging knowledge of the nonhormonal actions of vitamin D and its metabolites have increased interest in the synthesis, metabolism, and action of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke, as well as other cardiovascular-related diseases, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction. This review discusses the physiology and definition of vitamin D deficiency, evaluates the worldwide prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, and discusses recent evidence for the association between hypovitaminosis D and cardiovascular disease. Few randomized, controlled trials have evaluated the effect of vitamin D replacement on cardiovascular outcomes, and the results have been inconclusive or contradictory. Carefully designed randomized, controlled trials are essential to evaluate the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / physiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Vitamin D