Cardiovascular Risks in JIA Linked to Serum Vitamin D Level

gloved hand holding blood sample for vitamin D test
gloved hand holding blood sample for vitamin D test
Thirty controls were compared with 30 patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis to determine the link between vitamin D and CVD.

In patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), levels of serum vitamin D are closely related to cholesterol levels and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to research presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2017), held June 15-17, 2017 in Madrid, Spain.

Investigators from Tanta University in Tanta, Egypt, conducted a prospective, cross-sectional study to examine the association between 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) serum levels and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with JIA vs healthy controls.

Participants with JIA and controls (n=30 in both groups) were age- and gender-matched; patients with JIA were diagnosed according to International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) criteria. Baseline measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, plasma 25(OH)D, and high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL- and LDL-C); echocardiography, carotid intima media thickness (cIMT), and flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery were also conduced.

While participants’ mean vitamin D level was 23.8 nmol/l±16.59, only 7 patients had vitamin D levels considered “adequate” (between 50 and 75 nmol/l); 30% and 46.7% of patients, respectively, had vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency. Participants with JIA had “significantly lower” vitamin D levels vs controls (P <.01), as well as higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure. HDL- and LDL-C were significantly lower and significantly elevated, respectively, and significant positive correlation was noted between vitamin D levels and HDL-C levels.

“Patients with lower levels of vitamin D had significantly higher cIMT and lower FMD,” the researchers concluded. “There were no significant differences in echocardiography results.”

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Abu-Zaid MH, El-Barbary AM, Gaber RA, Abdelnabi HH. Vitamin D deficiency and risk for cardiovascular disease in juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2017); June 15-17, 2017; Madrid, Spain. Abstract THU0524. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-eular.1214