Coronary heart diseaseVitamin D levels

There is reasonable evidence that higher serum 25(OH)D levels are associated with reduced risk of CHD, and there have been many related studies of the incidence or death from CVD. These studies are discussed in our introduction to cardiovascular diseases.

Because CHD is one component of CVD, with others being cerebrovascular disease (stroke), congestive heart failure, and peripheral artery disease, the findings for CVD may not indicate the situation for CHD. In fact, in one study, the association with 25(OH)D was evident for cerebrovascular death (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.75) but not coronary death (hazard ratio = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.70, 1.18)1. There is at least one paper reporting results for CHD (myocardial infarction). That study found a relative risk (RR) = 2.09; 95% CI, 1.24–3.54; P = 0.02 for trend) comparing those with < 15 ng/mL (< 37 nmol/L) vs > 30 ng/mL (> 75 nmol/L). For those with 22.6–29.9 ng/mL (56.4–74.6 nmol/L), the RR was 1.60 (1.10–2.32) and for those with 15.0-22.5 ng/mL (37–56.2 nmol/L), the RR was 1.43 (0.96–2.13)2

A study at the Intermountain Healthcare system in Utah investigated the risk of CVD with respect to prediagnostic serum 25(OH)D measured between 2000 and 2009. Patients were followed after the initial vitamin D determination for an average of 1.3 years (maximum 9.3 years). While no data were reported for incidence of CHD, data were presented for prevalence of CHD diagnosis at baseline: 25.1% for those with serum 25(OH)D level < 15 ng/mL (< 37 nmol/L), 19.7% for those with 25(OH)D between 16 and 30 ng/mL (40 and 75 nmol/L), and 17.5% for those with 25(OH)D > 30 ng/mL (> 75nmol/L)3

Page last edited: 09 May 2011


  1. Kilkkinen, A. Knekt, P. Aro, A. Rissanen, H. Marniemi, J. Heliovaara, M. Impivaara, O. Reunanen, A. Vitamin D status and the risk of cardiovascular disease death. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Oct 15; 170 (8): 1032-9.
  2. Giovannucci, E. Liu, Y. Hollis, B. W. Rimm, E. B. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9; 168 (11): 1174-80.
  3. Anderson, J. L. May, H. T. Horne, B. D. Bair, T. L. Hall, N. L. Carlquist, J. F. Lappe, D. L. Muhlestein, J. B. Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population. Am J Cardiol. 2010 Oct 1; 106 (7): 963-8.