2012 Volume 19 Issue 10 Pages 924-931
Aim: Vitamin D insufficiency and increased parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels have been suggested as prognostic indices for cardiovascular disease. Arterial stiffness, a surrogate marker for cardiovascular disease, is often increased in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. PTH levels increase in patients with low 25-OH-vitamin D levels, but the influence of such an increase on arterial stiffness has not been investigated in postmenopausal women with reduced 25-OH-vitamin D levels. We therefore investigated the association between PTH and aortic stiffness in postmenopausal women with reduced 25-OH-vitamin D levels.
Methods: One hundred fifty postmenopausal women with 25-OH-vitamin D insufficiency (<30 ng/mL) were recruited. Aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), a measure of arterial stiffness, PTH and 25-OH-vitamin D levels were measured. Cardiovascular risk factors and markers of bone formation were evaluated.
Results: The 25-OH-vitamin D levels were associated with aPWV (rho=−0.23, p=0.006), but the association was not significant when controlling for PTH. Significant correlates of aPWV included age, body mass index, mean arterial pressure and PTH (rho=0.39, p<0.001). Arterial stiffness was predicted by logarithmically transformed PTH levels (β=0.23, p=0.007), independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and factors involved in bone formation. Increased PTH levels (>62 pg/mL) were associated with a 3.0-5.4-fold increased probability of having a mild-severe increase in aortic stiffness, irrespective of confounders.
Conclusion: Among postmenopausal women with reduced 25-OH-vitamin D levels, elevated PTH levels were a significant predictor of aortic stiffness, irrespective of cardiovascular risk factors and of factors involved in bone formation. PTH accounted for the association between 25-OH-vitamin D levels and aortic stiffness.