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Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000188
Original Articles

Calcium/vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and cholesterol profiles in the Women’s Health Initiative calcium/vitamin D randomized trial

Schnatz, Peter F. DO, FACP, FACOG, NCMP1,2,3,4; Jiang, Xuezhi MD, FACOG, NCMP1,3; Vila-Wright, Sharon MD1; Aragaki, Aaron K. MS5; Nudy, Matthew BS1,3; O’Sullivan, David M. PhD1; Jackson, Rebecca MD6; LeBlanc, Erin MD, MPH7; Robinson, Jennifer G. MD, MPH8; Shikany, James M. DrPH9; Womack, Catherine R. MD10; Martin, Lisa W. MD11; Neuhouser, Marian L. PhD5; Vitolins, Mara Z. DrPH, MPH, RD12; Song, Yiqing MD, ScD13; Kritchevsky, Stephen PhD14; Manson, JoAnn E. MD, DrPH, NCMP13

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Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study was to evaluate whether increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3) concentrations, in response to calcium/vitamin D (CaD) supplementation, are associated with improved lipids in postmenopausal women.

Methods

The parent trial was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial designed to test the effects of CaD supplementation (1,000 mg of elemental calcium + 400 IU of vitamin D3 daily) versus placebo in postmenopausal women. Women from the general community, including multiple sites in the United States, were enrolled between 1993 and 1998. This cohort included 300 white, 200 African-American, and 100 Hispanic participants who were randomly selected from the Women’s Health Initiative CaD trial. Serum 25OHD3 and lipid (fasting plasma triglycerides [TG], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], and calculated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C]) levels were assessed before and after CaD randomization.

Results

There was a 38% increase in mean serum 25OHD3 concentrations after 2 years (95% CI, 1.29-1.47, P < 0.001) for women randomized to CaD (24.3 ng/mL postrandomization mean) compared with placebo (18.2 ng/mL). Women randomized to CaD had a 4.46–mg/dL mean decrease in LDL-C (P = 0.03). Higher concentrations of 25OHD3 were associated with higher HDL-C levels (P = 0.003), along with lower LDL-C and TG levels (P = 0.02 and P < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusions

Supplemental CaD significantly increases 25OHD3 concentrations and decreases LDL-C. Women with higher 25OHD3 concentrations have more favorable lipid profiles, including increased HDL-C, lower LDL-C, and lower TG. These results support the hypothesis that higher concentrations of 25OHD3, in response to CaD supplementation, are associated with improved LDL-C.

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society

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