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Low Vitamin D Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Disease

Deficiency related to cardiovascular disease in people with hypertension

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency appears to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly in people with hypertension, according to research published online Jan. 7 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Thomas J. Wang, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,739 men and women without previous cardiovascular disease who were participants in the Framingham Offspring Study. The researchers assessed subjects' vitamin D status by measuring their levels of 25-dihydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D), the main circulating storage form of the vitamin.

Over a mean follow-up of 5.4 years, people with vitamin D deficiency of 25-OH D less than 15 ng/mL had a hazard ratio of 1.62 for new cardiovascular events compared to people with higher vitamin D levels, after adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors and renal function. This effect was only seen in people with hypertension; the relationship was not statistically significant in normotensive subjects.

"Further clinical and experimental studies may be warranted to determine whether correction of vitamin D deficiency could contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

One of the study authors has received honoraria from Abbott Laboratories and Genzyme.

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