Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Symposium presentations examine the role of nutrients in heart disease
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, heart failure and ischemic heart disease, according to a recent symposium on nutrition and heart disease summarized in the July issue of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences.

In the first report on vitamin D, Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed the epidemiologic and clinical evidence of vitamin D deficiency as a cardiovascular risk factor. They note that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and of developing incident hypertension or sudden cardiac death in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. How vitamin D improves cardiovascular disease outcomes is unclear, they note, but possibilities include down regulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, direct effects on the heart, or improved glycemic control.

In the second report on vitamin D, Rebecca B. Costello, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements in Bethesda, Md., and a colleague reviewed the mission and role of the Dietary Supplements' office. She notes that the office advances the role of vitamin D in human medicine by producing evidence-based reviews, developing and validating analytical methods to measure vitamin D, funding grants, and supporting continued collection of vitamin D status indicators.

The July issue of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences contains other articles focusing on nutrients affecting cardiovascular risk, including folic acid and magnesium. These studies were presented earlier this year at the Joint Meeting of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation and International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences.

American Journal of the Medical Sciences

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