Low vitamin D levels, prediabetes and prehypertension in healthy African American adults

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Oct;22(10):877-82. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Apr 9.


Aims: To determine if customary lower serum vitamin D concentrations in healthy African American (AA) adults are associated with modest elevations in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and/or resting blood pressure (BP). Numerous health disparities between African American (AA) and Caucasian American (CA) adults, especially those which increase cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, have been attributed to lower serum vitamin D concentrations in the AA. Prediabetes (PreDM) and prehypertension (PreHTN) are significantly more prevalent in healthy disease free CA adults with serum vitamin D concentrations below the 75th percentile for the Caucasian cohort. We hypothesized that despite overall lower serum vitamin D concentrations in AA, an increase in the prevalence for PreDM and PreHTN would be seen in those with low vitamin D levels.

Methods and results: Disease free AA adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2006 were assessed. PreDM and PreHTN were diagnosed using the ADA and JNC 7 criteria: (FPG) 100-125 mg/dL and resting systolic (SBP) 120-139 and/or diastolic (DBP) 80-89 mm Hg, respectively. Logistic regression was employed to assess effects of low vitamin D concentrations on the odds for PreDM and PreHTN (n = 621). Age, gender and BMI adjusted odds ratio for co-morbid PreDM and PreHTN in AA men (n = 343) and women (n = 278) with vitamin D levels ≤45.4 versus >45.4 nmol/L was 2.02 (1.11, 3.68), (p < 0.021).

Conclusions: Evaluating serum vitamin D levels, with consideration for supplementation in seemingly healthy AA adults with prediabetes, prehypertension, or co-existing prediabetes and prehypertension, has merit.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Prediabetic State / epidemiology*
  • Prediabetic State / physiopathology
  • Prehypertension / blood
  • Prehypertension / epidemiology*
  • Prehypertension / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Whites
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Vitamin D