25(OH)D3 and cardiovascular risk factors in female nonhuman primates

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Sep;21(9):959-65. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.3416. Epub 2012 Aug 9.


Objective: To determine if interindividual differences in plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) (25(OH)D(3)) have pathophysiologic significance, we evaluated a cohort of female monkeys, seeking to identify associations with clinically relevant cardiovascular risk factors, including age, abdominal obesity (waist circumference), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).

Methods: One hundred fifty-five female vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) aged 3-25 years consumed a typical western diet for 7-8 weeks that provided a woman's equivalent of approximately 1000 IU/day of vitamin D(3). Measurements of vitamin D(3) and HDL-C concentrations, as well as waist circumference, were obtained.

Results: Among young monkeys (aged 3-5 years), compared to older monkeys (aged 16-25 years), the mean plasma 25(OH)D(3) concentrations were 82.3±3.2 ng/mL and 58.6±2.9 ng/mL (p<0.0001), respectively. Plasma 25(OH)D(3) concentrations had a range of 19.6-142.0 ng/mL (mean±standard error [SE] 66.4±1.7 ng/mL). 25(OH)D(3) concentrations were inversely associated with age (p<0.0001) and waist circumference (p=0.016) and were positively correlated with HDL-C (p=0.01). However, when statistically controlling for age, none of these relationships remained significant.

Conclusions: Higher plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D(3) were associated with more favorable cardiovascular risk factors, with inverse associations observed between 25(OH)D(3) and abdominal obesity, HDL-C, and age. These associations were no longer significant when controlling for age.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Calcifediol / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Obesity, Abdominal / blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamins / blood
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Vitamins
  • Calcifediol