AHA: Vitamin D Deficiency's Role in Cardiac Events Studied

Studies focus on various adverse outcomes related to deficiency in different populations

MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a variety of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, and these associations were evaluated in several studies presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010, held from Nov. 13 to 17 in Chicago.

Erin D. Michos, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues evaluated whether vitamin D contributes to the excess risk of fatal stroke in blacks and found that vitamin D deficiency may have increased the risk of stroke death in whites but not blacks, and that deficiency did not explain blacks' higher risk of fatal stroke. Subba Reddy Vanga, of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, and colleagues found that vitamin D deficiency was a significant risk factor for several cardiovascular disease states and independently predicted reduced survival. Vitamin D supplementation was linked to a greater survival benefit in patients with vitamin D deficiency.

In a third study, researchers found that low levels of vitamin D were associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality among postmenopausal women, though the risk was attenuated if established cardiovascular disease risk factors were adjusted for. Researchers in a fourth study found that lower serum vitamin D levels were associated with prehypertension independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, total-to-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, C-reactive protein, and glomerular filtration rate.

"Future randomized intervention trials should examine if vitamin D supplementation at this stage can prevent or delay the onset of hypertension," write the authors of the fourth study.

The authors of the third study disclosed financial relationships with multiple pharmaceutical companies.

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