Vitamin D related genes could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and myocardial infarction, according to Ieva Martinaityte‘s PhD thesis.


  1. The C allele of rs7968585 increases the risk of myocardial infarction by 14 %.
  2. The same genetic variant increases the risk of type 2 diabetes with 25 %.
  3. The C allele affects risk negatively in both persons with high and low levels of vitamin D.


Thesis: Storage of vitamin D in adipose tissue and associations between vitamin D related genetic variants and diabetes, myocardial infarction, cancer, death, and low bone mineral density. Results from a high-dose vitamin D study and the Tromsø Study
Candidate: Ieva Martinaityte
Time: March 22, 2018 at 12:15
Place: UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Farmasibygget: Tabletten
Link to university website (in Norwegian)


(1) Genetic variations in the vitamin D receptor predict type 2 diabetes and myocardial infarction. The less common C allele of rs7968585 is linked to increased risk of both diseases when compared to the common T allele.

The analysis includes almonst 8500 participants in the Tromsø 4 Study in 1994 and 1995. More than 1000 developed diabetes by the end of 2011, whereas 2287 had a myocardial infarction. The C allele increased the risk of diabetes by 25 % and the risk of myocardial infarction by 14 %. There was no significant interaction between vitamin D levels in blood and the rs7968585 genotype, and the gene seems to affect risk negatively independent of D vitamin status.

(2/3) The rest of the PhD thesis focuses on D vitamin receptor genes and bone health, and on D vitamin status one year after cessation of D vitamin supplements.


(1) Zostautiene, I., Jorde, R., Schirmer, H., Mathiesen, E. B., Njølstad, I., Løchen, M. L., Wilsgaard, T., Joakimsen, R. M., & Kamycheva, E. (2015). Genetic variations in the Vitamin D receptor predict type 2 diabetes and myocardial infarction in a community-based population: the Tromsø studyPloS one10(12), e0145359.

(2) Martinaityte, I., Jorde, R., Emaus, N., Eggen, A. E., Joakimsen, R. M., & Kamycheva, E. (2017). Bone mineral density is associated with vitamin D related rs6013897 and estrogen receptor polymorphism rs4870044: The Tromsø studyPloS one12(3), e0173045.

(3) Martinaityte, I., Kamycheva, E., Didriksen, A., Jakobsen, J., & Jorde, R. (2017). Vitamin D stored in fat tissue during a 5-year intervention affects serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels the following yearThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism102(10), 3731-3738.

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