A cross-sectional study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation (Volume 44, Issue 7 July 2014 Pages 634–642 [Epub ahead of print 2014 May 14]), looked at the relationship between coronary artery disease and vitamin D deficiency. The subjects of the study were 1484 patients with coronary artery disease who were scheduled to receive elective coronary angiography. Blood samples were taken to determine vitamin D levels (25-OH-D3), and 70.4% of the patients were found to be vitamin D deficient.

Patients were divided into three groups, based on the severity of their vitamin D deficiency. More women than men tended to have severe vitamin D deficiency. The worst vitamin D status was associated with kidney failure, smoking, a high platelet count and the use of calcium antagonists and diuretics. Low vitamin D was inversely associated with LDL and triglyceride levels. Vitamin D deficiency was also associated with higher prevalence of left main or right coronary artery disease (CAD) as well as a higher prevalence of CAD and severe CAD.

The authors concluded, “Hypovitaminosis D was observed in the vast majority of patients undergoing coronary angiography. Vitamin D deficiency is significantly associated with the prevalence and extent of CAD, especially for patients with values less than 10 ng/mL. Therefore, future large studies are needed to evaluate whether vitamin D supplementation may prevent CAD (coronary artery disease) and its progression.”