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Childhood 25-OH vitamin D levels and carotid intima-media thickness in adulthood: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study


Juonala, M and Voipio, A and Pahkala, K and Viikari, JS and Mikkila, V and Kahonen, M and Hutri-Kahonen, N and Jula, A and Burgner, D and Sabin, MA and Marniemi, J and Loo, BM and Laitinen, T and Jokinen, E and Taittonen, L and Magnussen, CG and Raitakari, OT, Childhood 25-OH vitamin D levels and carotid intima-media thickness in adulthood: the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 100, (4) pp. 1469-1476. ISSN 0021-972X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Endocrine Society

DOI: doi:10.1210/jc.2014-3944


Context: Low vitamin D levels in adulthood have been associated with cardiovascular disease.

Objective: To investigate if low vitamin D levels in childhood are related with increased carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in adulthood.

Design, Setting and Participants: The analyses included 2148 subjects from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, aged 3-18 years at baseline (in 1980). Subjects were re-examined at age 30-45 years (in 2007). Childhood levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D were measured from stored serum in 2010.

Main Outcome Measure: The carotid artery IMT from 2007 was used.

Results: When adjusted for age, sex, and childhood risk factors, continuous data of childhood 25-OH vitamin was inversely associated with adulthood carotid IMT levels among females (β ± SE −0.006 ± 0.003, P = 0.03), but not among males (0.001 ± 0.004, P = 0.88). Children with 25-OH vitamin D levels in the lowest quartile (<40 nmol/L) had significantly increased odds of having high-risk IMT (highest decile of common carotid or carotid bulb IMT or carotid plaque) as adults, in analyses adjusted for age, sex and either childhood risk factors (odds ratio 1.70 [95 % CI 1.15–2.31], P = 0.0007) or adult risk factors, including adult vitamin D levels (odds ratio 1.80 [1.30–2.48], P = 0.0004). In sex-specific analyses, these associations were significant both in females and males (P always <0.05). In sensitivity analyses, those with childhood vitamin D levels in the lowest quintile (<37 nmol/L), gave similar results to those using a quartile cut-point.

Conclusions: Low 25-OH vitamin D levels in childhood were associated with increased carotid IMT in adulthood.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
ID Code:100059
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:44
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-04-28
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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