25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency is associated with increased aortic stiffness in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sahena Haque
  • Jacqueline L. Berry
  • Philip Pemberton
  • Lee Suan Teh
  • Pauline Ho
  • Rachel Gorodkin
  • Ian N. Bruce

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Manchester
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Manchester Academic Health Science Centre


Objective: To determine the relationship between serum vitamin D and markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with SLE. Methods: We recruited SLE patients (≥4 ACR 1997 criteria) from outpatient clinics between January 2007 and January 2009. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as serum 25(OH)D <20 ng/ml measured by ELISA. Disease activity was measured using the SLEDAI-2K score. Aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) was measured using PulseTrace 3600 (Micromedical) and carotid plaque (CP) and intima-media thickness (IMT) assessed using B-mode Doppler US. Results: Seventy-five women with SLE were recruited with a median (interquartile range) disease duration of 16 (8-27) years. Patients with vitamin D deficiency had higher BMI (P = 0.014) and insulin resistance (P = 0.023) than those with 25(OH)D >20 ng/ml. Subjects with SLEDAI-2K ≥4 had lower 25(OH)D than those with SLEDAI-2K <4 (median 12.9 vs 20.3 ng/ml, P = 0.031). Aortic stiffness was significantly associated with serum 25(OH)D [log(aPWV) β (95% CI) -0.0217 (-0.038, -0.005), P = 0.010] independently of BMI, CVD risk factors and serum insulin. Adjustment for disease activity reduced the strength of the association. There was no association between 25(OH)D and CP or IMT. Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased aortic stiffness in SLE, independent of CVD risk factors and insulin. Increased inflammatory disease activity may be the mechanism by which vitamin D deficiency mediates vascular stiffness in this patient group.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberker352
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Cardiovascular risk, Disease activity, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Vascular stiffness, Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas