Association of vitamin K with cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Nutr. 2019 Sep;58(6):2191-2205. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-01998-3. Epub 2019 May 22.


Purpose: We conducted a meta-analysis to systematically assess the prospective association between vitamin K and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and all-cause mortality.

Methods: We searched PubMed and EMBASE through January 2019 for prospective studies that reported the association of vitamin K (assessed by dietary intake or circulating concentration) with CVD events [including total CVD, CVD mortality, total coronary heart disease (CHD), fatal CHD, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke] and all-cause mortality. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) comparing top versus bottom tertiles of vitamin K were combined using random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: Twenty-one articles were included with 222,592 participants. A significant association was found between dietary phylloquinone and total CHD (pooled HR 0.92; 95% CI 0.84, 0.99; I2 = 0%; four studies), as well as menaquinone and total CHD (0.70; 95% CI 0.53, 0.93; I2 = 32.1%; two studies). No significant association was observed between dietary vitamin K and all-cause mortality, CVD mortality, or stroke. Elevated plasma desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP), a marker of vitamin K deficiency, was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality (1.84; 95% CI 1.48, 2.28; I2 = 16.8%; five studies) and CVD mortality (1.96; 95% CI 1.47, 2.61; I2 = 0%; two studies). No significant association was observed between circulating total osteocalcin and all-cause mortality or total CVD.

Conclusions: Our findings showed that higher dietary vitamin K consumption was associated with a moderately lower risk of CHD, and higher plasma dp-ucMGP concentration, but not total circulating osteocalcin, was associated with increased risks of all-cause and CVD mortality. However, causal relations cannot be established because of limited number of available studies, and larger prospective studies and randomized clinical trials are needed to validate the findings.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Dp-ucMGP; Meta-analysis; Mortality; Osteocalcin; Vitamin K.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diet therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Death*
  • Diet / methods*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin K / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin K / pharmacology*


  • Vitamin K