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ACC: Vitamin D Found to Improve Cardiac Function in Heart Failure

Further studies necessary to determine whether this translates to improvements in outcomes

heart model

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Regular doses of vitamin D3 may improve cardiac function in heart failure patients, according to a study published online April 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from April 2 to 4 in Chicago.

The study included more than 160 patients who had pacemakers and/or were receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or β-blockers. The study participants took either vitamin D (4,000 IU 25[OH]D3) or inactive placebo pills once a day for a year.

In patients who took vitamin D, the researchers found significant improvement in cardiac function on echocardiography and a reversal of left ventricular remodeling. No improvement in six-minute walk distance at one year was noted, and there were no clinically significant effects on calcium levels or renal function. "Further studies are necessary to determine whether these translate to improvements in outcomes," the authors write.

"These findings could make a significant difference to the care of heart failure patients," study leader Klaus Witte, M.D., from the University of Leeds School of Medicine in the United Kingdom, said in a university news release.

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