European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 178, Issue 7, pp 1087–1093 | Cite as

The relationship between serum vitamin D levels and intima-media thickness in term infants

  • Didem ArmanEmail author
  • Zeynep Çetiner
Original Article


Increasing epidemiologic evidence indicates that vitamin D deficiency is linked to a series of diseases, including cardiovascular disease. This prospective study was designed to determine the relationship between 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level and aortic intima-media thickness (aIMT) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in term healthy neonates. A total of 135 term, healthy infants were included in the study. Ultrasonographic measurements were performed at 24–48 h after birth. Blood samples were obtained from the umbilical cord at birth. The neonates were divided into four groups according to serum 25(OH)D vitamin levels. For the entire cohort, the mean 25 hydroxyvitamin D level was found to be 15.17 ± 9.66 ng/mL. The mean values of cIMT and aIMT measurements were 0.386 ± 0.052 and 0.412 ± 0.076 mm, respectively. In group 4, mean and maximum aIMT measurements were significantly lower than the other groups (p = <0.001 and 0.001, respectively). We did not observe any significant difference between groups regarding cIMT measurements. Correlation was found between aIMT and 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels (r = 0.295 p = < 0.001).

Conclusion: We conclude that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with early relative intima-media thickening of the aorta already in the first week of life.

What is Known:

• Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a series of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

• Studies in adults and high-risk children have shown that the measurement of the intima-media thickness represents an excellent marker of subclinical atherosclerosis.

What is New:

This is the first study evaluating the relationship between 25(OH)D vitamin level and intima-media thickness in term healthy neonates.

• Vitamin D deficiency in neonates may induce atherosclerosis early in life and the aortic intima-media thickness measurements may be used as an early marker for detection.


Atherogenesis Aortic intima-media thickness Carotid intima-media thickness 25 hydroxyvitamin D 



25 hydroxyvitamin D


Aortic intima-media thickness


Carotid intima-media thickness


Financial support

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Authors’ contribution

Design of the study, data analysis, preparation of the manuscript : DA

Performing ultrasonographic studies, data analysis : ZC

Compliance with ethical statements

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the local committee.

Informed consent

Informed parental consent was obtained for all infants.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of NeonatologyOrdu University Maternity and Children’s Research and Training HospitalOrduTurkey
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyOrdu University Maternity and Children’s Research and Training HospitalOrduTurkey

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