Background and objectives: Low-serum vitamin D levels have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk in the general population. We hypothesized that serum vitamin D levels would be inversely associated with inflammation and with severity of coronary atherosclerosis. We therefore investigated the link between serum vitamin D levels and (1) the extent of coronary artery disease (CAD) assessed by the Gensini score and (2) inflammatory parameters, including C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.
Materials and methods: We measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and inflammatory markers in 239 patients who underwent coronary angiography. We analyzed the relation between serum levels of 25(OH)D and inflammatory markers and angiographic severity of CAD. The Gensini lesion severity score was used for assessing the severity of coronary atherosclerosis.
Results: Vitamin D insufficiency was very common among our study population: 83% of the study population had levels less than 30 ng/mL. The Gensini score was negatively associated with serum vitamin D levels (r = -0.416, P < 0.001), and positively correlated with age (r = 0.209, P = 0.001), blood pressure (r = 0.379, P < 0.001), diabetes (r = 0.335, P < 0.001), hyperlipidemia (r = 0.150, P = 0,021), and C-reactive protein levels (r = 0.214, P = 0,001). After adjustments for traditional and nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors, vitamin D (B = -0,345, P < 0,001) remained a significant predictor for the severity of CAD.
Conclusions: Low-serum 25(OH)D levels are associated with the severity of coronary artery stenosis. Further studies are warranted to determine whether vitamin D supplementation could prevent progression of CAD.