Research published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology reports that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and early death.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen measured vitamin D status in 10,170 women and men from the Danish general population from 1981-1983. The participants were followed in nationwide public registries to present.
The authors report that low vitamin D levels were linked to a 40% increased risk of ischemic heart disease, 64% higher risk of heart attack, 57% increased risk of early death, and 81% increased risk of death from heart disease.
Lead author Borge Nordestgaard states, “With this type of population study, we are unable to say anything definitive about a possible causal relationship. But we can ascertain that there is a strong statistical correlation between a low level of vitamin D and high risk of heart disease and early death. The explanation may be that a low level of vitamin D directly leads to heart disease and death. However, it is also possible that vitamin deficiency is a marker for poor health generally.”
The researchers are currently concentrating on determining whether there is a causal relationship between vitamin D status and heart disease risk.
To read Dr Cannell’s blog on the study, click here: Meta-analysis: Vitamin D levels and risk of heart disease, early death.
Nordestgaard BG, Brondum-Jacobsen P, Benn M, Jensen GB. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, and early death. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. August 2012.