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Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk

Findings suggest current dietary requirements need to be increased

MONDAY, June 9, 2008 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of heart attack in men, says a U.S. study.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, analyzed medical records and blood samples from 454 men, aged 40 to 75, who had a nonfatal heart attack or fatal heart disease, and compared them to 900 men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.

Men with a vitamin D deficiency (15 nanograms or less per milliliter of blood) had a higher risk of heart attack than those with a sufficient amount of vitamin D (30 nanograms per milliliter of blood or more).

"After additional adjustment for family history of myocardial infarction, body-mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activity, history of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, ethnicity, region, marine omega-3 intake, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, this relationship remained significant," the study authors wrote.

The findings appear in the June 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Vitamin D deficiency has been related to an increasing number of conditions and to total mortality. These results further support an important role for vitamin D in myocardial infarction risk," the researchers concluded.

More information

MedlinePlus has more about vitamin D.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, June 9, 2008
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