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Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Cardiovascular Risk in Overweight Kids

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Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Cardiovascular Risk in Overweight KidsA new study says that vitamin D deficiency is linked with early markers of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Marisa Censani, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist who serves as director of the Pediatric Obesity Program in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine is the lead author of this study.  Censani said, Pediatric obesity is seen in 17 percent of infants, children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 in the U.S. Obesity is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. These results indicate that vitamin D deficiency can have negative impacts on certain lipid markers with an increase in cardiovascular diseases risk in children and adolescents. 

Connection Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Cardiovascular Risk

Censani mentioned, This research is the first one to evaluate the connection of vitamin D deficiency to non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol and lipoprotein ratios, particularly lipid markets influencing cardiovascular risk among children and adolescents who are overweight or obese.

Over a period of two years, Censani and her colleagues assessed the health records including levels of vitamin D among children and adolescents who ages between 6 and 17 at the pediatric endocrinology outpatient clinics at Weill Cornell Medicine.


On the whole, 178 out of 332 patients passed the criteria for overweight and obesity. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and non-HDL cholesterol were recorded; and total cholesterol/HDL and triglyceride/HDL ratios were estimated. Vitamin D deficiency was regarded as 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) below 20 ng/ml.

There exists a connection between vitamin D deficiency and increase atherogenic lipids and early markers of cardiovascular disease. Patients with vitamin D deficiency had higher total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, non-HDL cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol/HDL and triglyceride/HDL ratios. But these values are not high in patients without vitamin D deficiency.

These findings suggest screening the overweight and obese children and adolescents for vitamin D deficiency and to improve the vitamin D levels to minimize cardiovascular risk, Censani added.

Written by Lax Mariappan, MSc