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AHA: More Arterial Disease When Vitamin D Levels Low

Several mechanisms point to vitamin's role in peripheral arterial health

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- People in the lowest quartile for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are at substantially higher risk for peripheral arterial disease than those in the highest quartile, according to a study published online April 16 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and presented at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference held April 16 to 18 in Atlanta.

Michal L. Melamed, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues analyzed data from 4,839 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001 to 2004. They defined peripheral arterial disease as ankle-brachial index of less than 0.9 and evaluated the cohort on the basis of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.

The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease was 8.1 percent for those in the lowest quartile for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, versus 5.4 percent, 4.9 percent and 3.7 percent for the third, second and top quartiles, respectively.

"Several mechanisms have been invoked in the literature to support a potential anti-atherosclerotic activity of vitamin D," the authors write. "Prospective cohort and mechanistic studies should be designed to confirm this association."

One author reports a financial relationship to Abbott Pharmaceuticals.

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