|HEART DISEASE AND VITAMIN D|
Circulation 2008;117:online publication
This study, published in Circulation, looked at the vitamin D status of 1,739 caucasian adults who were free of heart disease at the beginning of the study. They were monitored for different cardiovascular events- angina, stroke, heart attack, coronary insufficiency (chest pain caused by low blood flow to the heart muscle), transient ischemic attack (TIA), leg pain when walking, due to poor circulation, and heart failure-over an average of about seven and a half years.
People with low vitamin D levels were 2x as likely to have a cardiovascular event as people with normal levels, and the risk was highest in people with high blood pressure plus low vitamin D levels.
It's no surprise that vitamin D is important in heart health as Vit. D receptors exist in blood vessel walls and in the heart muscle itself.
Though Vitamin D deficiency in childhood, known as rickets, is more commonly known, its presentation in adults is not so obvious. Yet every patient that I've asked to test for Vitamin D has had suboptimal levels. Evidence is growing that up to 50% or more of the population may be low. This increase in adult deficiency is most likely due to the medical recommendation to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen. We're beginning to reap the consequences of this action in the increase in Vitamin D-related diseases.
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