Combined low vitamin D and K status amplifies mortality risk: a prospective study

Adriana J. van Ballegooijen*, Joline W. J. Beulens, Lyanne M. Kieneker, Martin H. de Borst, Ron T. Gansevoort, Ido P. Kema, Leon J. Schurgers, Marc G. Vervloet, Stephan J. L. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To explore the association of both plasma vitamin D and K concentrations with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and cardiovascular events in the general population. Methods: We studied 4742 participants of the Prevention of REnal and Vascular ENd-Stage Disease (PREVEND) Study. At baseline, vitamin D and K status was determined by measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP), respectively. Patients were categorized into: 25(OH)D < 50 or ≥ 50 nmol/L and dp-ucMGP < 361 or ≥ 361 pmol/L with 25(OH)D > 75 nmol/L and dp-ucMGP < 361 pmol/L as reference. Cause of death was coded according to International Classification of Diseases 9&10 codes from the 2001-2003 examination until date of death/event or censoring date (January 1st, 2017). Results: Mean age was 52.6 ± 11.9 years and 2513 (53%) were female. During a median of 14.2 year follow-up, 620 participants died of which 142 were due to cardiovascular causes. Combined low vitamin D and K status was present in 970 participants (20%) and was associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality compared to high vitamin D and high vitamin K status group (n = 1424) after adjusting for potential confounders: hazard ratio 1.46 (95% confidence intervals 1.12–1.90). We observed similar trends, albeit non-significant for cardiovascular mortality, and cardiovascular events: 1.42 (0.79–2.55), 1.28 (0.93–1.77), respectively. Conclusions: Combined low vitamin D and K status are associated with increased all-cause mortality risk and possibly with cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular events compared with adequate vitamin D and K status. Future studies should investigate the effect of combined vitamin D and K supplementation on clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1645–1654
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Early online date17-Aug-2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2021


  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • All-cause mortality
  • Cardiovascular mortality
  • D-2

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