Purpose: Subclinical atherosclerosis defined as endothelial dysfunction, coronary calcification, and increased carotid intima media thickness is related to cardiovascular events independent from blood pressure. There are data showing possible relation between low vitamin D levels and subclinical atherosclerosis. In this study we aimed to find out the relation between vitamin D level and intima media thickness and the presence of atherosclerotic plaques.
Materials and Methods: Fifteen male and 148 female subjects with essential hypertension aged between 30-76 were included to the study. Intima media thickness was measured and the presence of plaque was evaluated by real time B mode ultrasonography (MyLab 70 XVG, Esaote SpA, Genoa, Italy) using 4.0-13.0 MHz linear probe. Serum parathormone was measured by chemiluminiscence immunoassay and 25 OH vitamin D level by radioimmunassay.
Results: Eighty patients (49%) had plaques. Seventy three patients (45%) had severe vitamin D deficiency defined as level below 10 ng/ml and 64 (39%) had insufficiency, (10-20 ng/ml). Vitamin D levels were similar in plaque +ve and –ve groups (p=0.44). Intima media thickness was positively correlated with age (r=0.399, p=0.0001), fasting glucose (r=0.165, p=0.036), and Hemoglobin A1c (r=0.384, p=0.002). There was no correlation between intima media thickness and vitamin D level (p=0.75) and LDL (p=0.581).
Conclusion: We did not find any relation between vitamin D level andintima media thickness in hypertensive subjects. The lack of significance may be due to high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.