Vitamin D deficiency and coronary artery disease: a review of the evidence.
Kunadian V., Ford GA., Bawamia B., Qiu W., Manson JE.
Coronary artery disease remains the leading cause of death in developed countries despite significant progress in primary prevention and treatment strategies. Older patients are at particularly high risk of poor outcomes following acute coronary syndrome and impaired nutrition, including low vitamin D levels, may play a role. The extraskeletal effects of vitamin D, in particular, its role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system are receiving increased attention. Longitudinal studies have demonstrated increased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity associated with vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to inflammation, higher coronary artery calcium scores, impaired endothelial function and increased vascular stiffness. However, so far, few randomized controlled trials have investigated the potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation in preventing cardiovascular events, and most available trials have tested low doses of supplementation in relatively low-risk populations. Whether vitamin D supplementation will be beneficial among patients with coronary artery disease, including high risk older patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome, is unknown and warrants further investigation.