Objective: Hypertension is a global public health problem. The apparent association between vitamin D (VitD) and blood pressure (BP) has been studied in several populations but not in a Puerto Rican population. Therefore, we determined the association between serum 25(OH)D levels and BP in a convenience sample in Puerto Rico.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients attending a local laboratory with an order for serum 25(OH)D levels was performed. Participants completed a questionnaire that solicited the following information: age, sex, weight, height, VitD intake, and history of both sun exposure and hypertension. BP was measured by a phlebotomist on-site and classified according to the Joint National Committee; serum 25(OH)D levels were taken from the record, and VitD status was classified as either optimal (25(OH)D > or = 30 ng/dl) or non-optimal (< 30 ng/dl). Mean, standard deviation, and percentiles were used for descriptive analysis. VitD status and BP were compared by gender, age, and body mass index (BMI) using ANOVA or chi-square. The association between VitD status and blood pressure was assessed by polytomous logistic regression adjusting for several variables.
Results: Two hundred nineteen individuals were included in the analysis; most were females aged 21 to 50 years who were overweight/obese; 53% of the total population was pre-hypertensive or hypertensive; 60% had non-optimal VitD status; and the sun exposure index was 19.6. No significant associations were found between VitD status and blood pressure after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, total VitD intake, and solar exposure index.
Conclusion: VitD status was not found to be associated with blood pressure in this sample population; more studies with a larger sample population are needed to determine whether such an association does in fact exist.