A recent study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a predictor for electrocardiography abnormalities.
An electrocardiography (ECG) is the recording of the heart’s electrical activity. ECGs can be used to check the health of the heart and to detect signs of heart disease.
There are vitamin D receptors located throughout the heart, indicating that vitamin D plays a role in the functioning of the heart. Indeed, numerous mechanisms have been discovered for vitamin D’s role in heart health.
In order to further investigate the topic, researchers analyzed the vitamin D status and ECGs of 5,108 people from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The researchers followed the participants for 13.2 years to determine the effects of ECG abnormalities on long-term cardiovascular and all-cause mortality rates among the participants who were vitamin D insufficient and deficient.
They found that 5.9% of participants who were vitamin D sufficient, as defined as levels above 40 ng/ml, had ECG abnormalities.
Eleven percent of vitamin D insufficient participants, with insufficiency defined as levels between 20 and 40 ng/ml, and 13% of vitamin D deficiency participants, with deficiency defined by levels less than 20 ng/ml, had major ECG abnormalities.
The analysis showed that those who were vitamin D deficient had a 136% increased risk of having ECG major abnormalities.
The researchers concluded, “Our study suggests an independent, statistically significant association between vitamin D levels and major ECG abnormalities.”