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Open Access

Vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus

  • Denisson Dias da Silva1,
  • Liter William Pinheiro Nunez1,
  • Danielle Dias da Silva Pinheiro1Email author,
  • Luciana Lobato de Oliveira1,
  • Suzanny Silva Ladeira1,
  • Natércia Neves Marques de Queiroz1,
  • Ana Carolina dos Santos Pinto1,
  • Luciana Marques da Costa1,
  • Ana Carolina Contente Braga de Souza1,
  • Franciane Trindade Cunha de Melo1,
  • Karem Miléo Felício1,
  • Camila Cavalcante Koury1,
  • João Felício Abrahão Neto1,
  • Carolina Tavares Carvalho1,
  • Thaís Pontes Arbage1,
  • Hana Andrade de Rider Brito1,
  • Antônio Bentes FigueiredoJunior1,
  • Fabrício de Souza Resende1 and
  • João Soares Felício1
Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome20157(Suppl 1):A44

Published: 11 November 2015


Public HealthDiabetes MellitusInsulin ResistanceNeuropathyDiabetic Patient


Low levels of vitamin D have been suggested to have a negative effect on the pancreatic β cell function, being associated with insulin resistance and an increase in inflammatory markers in diabetic patients. However, the relationship between vitamin D levels and diabetes microvascular complications has not been well established yet.


This study aimed to evaluate the association between the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and the presence of cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy (CAN) in patients with type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1D).

Materials and methods

We performed a cross-sectional study including 50 patients with T1D, submitted to the dosage of 25(OH)D levels by chemiluminescence and to computerized autonomic tests for the evaluation of CAN. The severity of CAN was graduated in absent, incipient or established.


Our results showed a correlation of 25(OH)D levels with the presence and severity of CAN in patients with T1D. Patients with established CAN presented lower levels of 25(OH)D in comparison to those without CAN (21.5±7.9 vs 31.5±11.3 ngmL, respectively; p<0.05). Evaluating the severity of CAN, we observed lower levels of 25(OH)D in patients with established CAN compared to those with incipient CAN or absence of CAN (18.6±6.4 vs 31.5±11.3 ngmL, respectively; p<0.05). Additionally, the levels of 25(OH)D were correlated with CAN through 6 of the 7 parameters used in the diagnosis: FMB (r=0.28, p<0.05), FB (r=0.33, p<0.01), FA (r=0.35, p<0.01), Valsalva maneuver (r=0.36, p.0.01), 30: 15 coefficient (r=0.38, p<0.01) and respiratory coefficient (r=0.31, p<0.05).


This is the first study suggesting the association between 25(OH)D levels with the prevalence and severity of CAN in T1D patients. Further studies are necessary to establish whether vitamin D supplementation could influence the progression of CAN in these patients.

Authors’ Affiliations

Hospital Universitário João de Barros Barreto, Belém, Brazil


© da Silva et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.