Elderly individuals with non-dipper hypertension are at high risk of cardiovascular disease because of increased stiffness of peripheral arteries. Since, vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in elderly Chinese. We examined whether reduced plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] may help promote this stiffness.Hypertensive patients at least 60 years old without history of peripheral arterial disease at our hospital were retrospectively divided into dipper and non-dipper groups according to the results of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Plasma levels of 25(OH)D were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Peripheral arterial stiffness was measured based on the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI).Of the 155 patients enrolled, 95 (61.3%) were diagnosed with non-dipper hypertension and these patients had significantly lower plasma levels of 25(OH)D than the 60 patients with dipper hypertension (19.58 ± 5.97 vs 24.36 ± 6.95 nmol/L, P < .01) as well as significantly higher CAVI (8.46 ± 1.65 vs 7.56 ± 1.08 m/s, P < .01). Vitamin D deficiency was significantly more common among non-dipper patients (57.9% vs 31.7%, P < .01). Multivariate regression showed that age and 25(OH)D were independently related to CAVI, with each 1-ng/ml decrease in 25(OH)D associated with a CAVI increase of +0.04 m/s.Non-dipper hypertension is associated with vitamin D deficiency and reduced plasma levels of 25(OH)D. The latter may contribute to stiffening of peripheral arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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