Vitamin D status and cardiovascular outcome

  • F. SaponaroEmail author
  • C. Marcocci
  • R. Zucchi
Short Review



Vitamin D is classically involved in maintaining bone and mineral health, but it has been shown to exert many extraskeletal functions, including pleiotropic effects on cardiovascular system.

Materials and method

This review aims to summarize evidences in literature about vitamin D and cardiovascular outcome.

Results and conclusions

Calcitriol or 1,25(OH)2D, the active hormone, binds to the specific nuclear receptor VDR, which is expressed in rat and human heart and vasculature and has effects on myocardiocytes, smooth cells, and endothelial cells. 25-Hydroxy-vitamin D (25OHD) represents the biomarker of vitamin D levels and reflects vitamin D status. There is consistent evidence that low serum 25OHD levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Randomized-controlled trials and Mendelian randomization studies so far have not succeeded in proving a benefit of vitamin D supplementation. However, the latter investigations are affected by some methodological limitations, and therefore, it is still unclear if vitamin D deficiency has a causative role in cardiovascular diseases or is rather a marker of poor health in chronic disease.


Vitamin D Calcitriol Cardiovascular risk Heart failure 



No funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This manuscript is a review of the literature and does not contain original research either on animal or on human subjects.

Informed consent

For this type of manuscript, informed consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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