Vitamin D deficiency may be considered a marker for early cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children and adolescents with high lipoprotein ratios, according to data presented at ENDO 2017, April 1-4, 2017, in Orlando, Florida.

Previous studies have demonstrated associations between low hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) with dyslipidemia and CVD in adults, but there has been little research regarding the same association in pediatric patients.

Therefore, researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City conducted a cross-sectional study of patients age 6 to 17 years at pediatric endocrinology outpatient clinics. Vitamin D levels, along with age, sex, pubertal status, 25(OH)D levels, and cardiometabolic lab work with fasting lipid parameters were collected. Total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were also collected. Deficiency in vitamin D was defined as 25(OH)D <20 ng/mL.

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Of the 332 patients (61 males; 117 females; mean age, 12.1±3.3), 178 were considered overweight or obese (body mass index [BMI] >85th percentile) and of these patients, 60 had fasting lipid parameters available. The researchers discovered that patients with 25(OH)D <20 ng/mL had significantly higher non-HDL-C (134.76±47.32 vs 108.85±31.14; P <.03), triglyceride to HDL ratio (3.09±2.26 vs 1.82±1.18; P =.03), total cholesterol to HDL ratio (4.23±1.23 vs 3.40±1.05; P <.01), total cholesterol (184.15±40.19 vs 158.89±30.10; P <.01), and triglycerides (134.76±47.32 vs 78.93±37.46; P <.03) compared with patients who had 25(OH)D >20 ng/mL.

Furthermore, pubertal children with vitamin D deficiency had significantly higher total cholesterol/HDL levels (4.26±1.18 vs 3.42±0.8; P <.02) compared with children with vitamin D levels >20 ng/mL, with total cholesterol, non-HDL-C, and triglyceride/HDL approaching significance (P =.06, .07, and .09, respectively).

“This study highlights the role of monitoring 25(OH)D levels in children and adolescents with overweight and obesity and the potential benefits of improving vitamin D status to reduce cardiometabolic risk,” the researchers concluded.

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Censani M, Schumaker T, Hammad HT, Christos PJ. Vitamin D status is associated with early markers of cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. Abstract 342. Presented at: ENDO 2017: the 99th Annual Meeting & Expo. April 1-4, 2017; Orlando, Florida.