Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease

Shweta R. Motiwala, Thomas J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Vitamin D plays a role in many biochemical pathways outside of bone and calcium metabolism, including the cardiovascular system. Prior studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease. In this review, we summarize existing studies investigating these associations, specifically those addressing potential mechanisms, epidemiologic associations, and possible benefits of supplementation. Recent findings Experimental studies have demonstrated that activated vitamin D reduces neurohormonal activation, inhibits inflammation, and suppresses ventricular hypertrophy. Both retrospective and prospective observational studies have related vitamin D levels with cardiometabolic risk factors and outcomes. To date, there have been a small number of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular structure and function, but results have been inconclusive or conflicting. Summary Experimental and clinical evidence suggests a link between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how many of the reported associations are causal. Well designed prospective randomized controlled trials are necessary to further investigate the appropriate role of vitamin D supplementation for cardiovascular risk reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular disease
  • coronary artery disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hyperlipidemia
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


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