Vitamin D status and functional performance in peripheral artery disease

Mary M. McDermott*, Kiang Liu, Luigi Ferrucci, Lu Tian, Jack Guralnik, Peter Kopp, Huimin Tao, Linda Van Horn, Yihua Liao, David Green, Melina Kibbe, Michael H. Criqui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The clinical implications of low vitamin D in peripheral artery disease (PAD) are unknown. We hypothesized that among individuals with PAD, lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D would be associated with poorer functional performance, more adverse calf muscle characteristics, and poorer peripheral nerve function. Participants were 402 men and women with PAD who underwent measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (DiaSorin radioimmunoassay) along with 6-minute walk testing, measurement of walking velocity at usual and fastest pace, computed tomography-measured calf muscle density, and peripheral nerve conduction velocity (NCV). Among PAD participants, 20.4% had 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels < 30 nmol/L, consistent with deficient vitamin D status. Adjusting for age, sex, and race, lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were associated with poorer 6-minute walk performance (p trend = 0.002), slower usual-paced 4-meter walking velocity (p trend = 0.031), slower fast-paced 4-meter walking velocity (p trend = 0.043), and lower calf muscle density (p trend = 0.031). After additional adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and diabetes, none of these associations remained statistically significant. However, lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were associated with poorer peroneal NCV (p trend = 0.013) and poorer sural NCV (p trend = 0.039), even after adjusting for age, sex, race, BMI, comorbidities, smoking, physical activity, and other confounders. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is common among people with PAD encountered in clinical settings. After adjusting for BMI and diabetes mellitus, we found no significant associations of lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D with poorer functional performance or calf muscle characteristics. Associations of low vitamin D levels with poorer peripheral nerve function require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-302
Number of pages9
JournalVascular Medicine (United Kingdom)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • intermittent claudication
  • peripheral artery
  • physical functioning
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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