Background: Low levels of vitamin D have been related to increased mortality and morbidity in several non-diabetic studies. We aimed to prospectively study relationships between serum 25-OH vitamin D3 (vitamin D) and of serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) to total mortality in type 2 diabetes. We also aimed to compare the levels of these potential risk-factors in patients with and without diabetes.
Methods: The main study design was prospective and observational. We used baseline data from 472 men and 245 women who participated in the "Cardiovascular Risk factors in Patients with Diabetes-a Prospective study in Primary care" study. Patients were 55-66 years old at recruitment, and an age-matched non-diabetic sample of 129 individuals constituted controls for the baseline data. Carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity (PWV) was measured with applanation-tonometry and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) with ultrasound. Patients with diabetes were followed for all-cause mortality using the national Swedish Cause of Death Registry.
Results: Levels of vitamin D were lower in patients with diabetes than in controls, also after correction for age and obesity, while PTH levels did not differ. Nine women and 24 men died during 6 years of median follow up of the final cohort (n = 698). Vitamin D levels were negatively related to all-cause mortality in men independently of age, PTH, HbA1c, waist circumference, 24-h systolic ambulatory-blood pressure (ABP) and serum-apoB (p = 0.049). This finding was also statistically significant when PWV and IMT were added to the analyses (p = 0.028) and was not affected statistically when medications were also included in the regression-analysis (p = 0.01). In the women with type 2 diabetes, levels of PTH were positively related with all-cause mortality in the corresponding calculations (p = 0.016 without PWV and IMT, p = 0.006 with PWV and IMT, p = 0.045 when also adding medications to the analysis), while levels of vitamin D was without statistical significance (p >0.9).
Conclusions: Serum vitamin D in men and serum PTH in women give prognostic information in terms of total-mortality that are independent of regular risk factors in addition to levels of ABP, IMT and PWV.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01049737.
Keywords: Arteriosclerosis; Calcium; Mortality; Parathyroid hormone; Type 2 diabetes; Vitamin D.