Vitamin D Deficiency Related to Cardiovascular Mortality

Causal relationship yet to be established in clinical trials

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- There is an independent association between low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, although a causal link has yet to be established, according to an article published in the June 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Harald Dobnig, M.D., of the Medical University of Graz in Graz, Austria, and colleagues conducted a study of 3,258 patients with a mean age of 62 who were scheduled for coronary angiography and who were followed up for a median 7.7 years.

During this time, 737 patients (22.6 percent) died, of which 463 deaths were attributed to cardiovascular disease. Patients in the lower two quartiles for 25-hydroxyvitamin D had higher rates of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality versus those in the highest quartile. The level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, and patients in the lowest quartile for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D also had similar results.

"Although not proved, it seems possible that at least part of this effect may be due to lowering of a risk profile promoting atherosclerosis and preventing cardiovascular end points," the authors write. "Based on the findings of this study, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 ng/mL or higher may be advised for maintaining general health."

Unrestricted grants for the study were received from Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Dade Behring and AstraZeneca.

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