Congestive heart failureExposure to sunlight

African-Americans have a greater risk of congestive heart failure (CHF) and its effects due to darker skin pigmentation and reduced vitamin D production1.

In the United States, the average serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level for African-Americans is 16 ng/ml while that for white Americans is 26 ng/ml2.

A study of the geographical variation of the seasonal amplitude of HF morality rates was conducted in Australia using data for eight cities3. In looking at the graphs of amplitude vs. temperature in January and July, it was noticed that Darwin at 12.5º S was an outlier, making the best fit to the data a U-shaped curve. Recalling that Darwin is populated primarily by indigenous non-Europeans, the values for Darwin were omitted and the data graphed vs. temperature and latitude, with latitude extending from 27.4º S to 42.9º S. Linear fits to the data found a higher regression coefficient for latitude (0.69) than for January or July temperature, 0.57 and 0.37, respectively. This finding suggests that solar UVB and vitamin D are a more important risk-modifying factor than is temperature.

Page last edited: 06 May 2011


  1. Newman, K. P. Bhattacharya, S. K. Munir, A. Davis, R. C. Soberman, J. E. Ramanathan, K. B. Macro- and micronutrients in patients with congestive heart failure, particularly African-Americans. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2007; 3 (5): 743-7.
  2. Ginde, A. A. Scragg, R. Schwartz, R. S. Camargo, C. A., Jr. Prospective study of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in older U.S. adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Sep; 57 (9): 1595-603.
  3. Barnett, A. G. de Looper, M. Fraser, J. F. The seasonality in heart failure deaths and total cardiovascular deaths. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2008 Oct; 32 (5): 408-13.