Researchers presenting at the American College of Cardiology have found that vitamin D deficiency is related to risk and severity of coronary artery disease.
Coronary artery disease occurs when there is a build-up of plaque in the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
The researchers examined the vitamin D levels of 1,484 patients who were in the hospital for a coronary angiography. Coronary angiography is a test used to determine how well blood is flowing through arteries in the body.
They found that 70.4% of the patients were deficient in vitamin D. The researchers also found that coronary artery disease was 32% more common among patients with the lowest vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency was also related to a 20% higher frequency of severe coronary artery disease.
“Although evidence of benefits with vitamin D supplementation in cardiovascular outcomes are still lacking, strategies to raise endogenous vitamin D should probably be advised in the prevention of cardiovascular disease,” said researcher Dr. Monica Verdoia.
The researchers plan to conduct multiple clinical trials to see if treating vitamin D deficiency reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis.