Racial/Ethnic Differences in 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone Levels and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among Postmenopausal Women

Xi Zhang, Wanzhu Tu, Jo Ann E. Manson, Lesley Tinker, Simin Liu, Jane A. Cauley, Lihong Qi, Charles Mouton, Lisa W. Martin, Lifang Hou, Yiqing Song

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4 Scopus citations


Background Recent evidence suggests that racial/ethnic differences in circulating levels of free or bioavailable 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25[ OH ]D) rather than total 25( OH )D may explain apparent racial disparities in cardiovascular disease ( CVD ). We prospectively examined black-white differences in the associations of total, free, and bioavailable 25( OH )D, vitamin D-binding protein, and parathyroid hormone levels at baseline with incident CVD (including nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, and CVD death) in postmenopausal women. Methods and Results We conducted a case-cohort study among 79 705 postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 79 years, who were free of CVD at baseline in the WHI-OS (Women's Health Initiative Observational Study). A subcohort of 1300 black and 1500 white participants were randomly chosen as controls; a total of 550 black and 1500 white women who developed incident CVD during a mean follow-up of 11 years were chosen as cases. We directly measured total 25( OH )D, vitamin D-binding protein, albumin, parathyroid hormone, and calculated free and bioavailable 25( OH )D. Weighted Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine their associations with CVD risk. Although vitamin D-binding protein and total, free, and bioavailable 25( OH )D were not significantly associated with CVD risk in black or white women, a significant positive association between parathyroid hormone and CVD risk persisted in white women (hazard ratio comparing the highest quartile with the lowest, 1.37; 95% CI , 1.06-1.77) but not in black women (hazard ratio comparing the highest quartile with the lowest, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.79-1.58), independent of total, free, and bioavailable 25( OH )D or vitamin D-binding protein. Conclusions Circulating levels of vitamin D biomarkers are not related to CVD risk in either white or black women. Higher parathyroid hormone levels may be an independent risk factor for CVD in white women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e011021
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 19 2019



  • 25(OH)D
  • biomarker
  • cardiovascular disease
  • parathyroid hormone/calcitonin
  • vitamin D
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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