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Vitamin D status may influence risk of complications after non-cardiac surgery

Posted on: August 15, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


Researchers recently published results in Anesthesia and Analgesia which showed that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of complications after non-cardiac surgery.

The role of vitamin D before, during, and after surgery is of interest to researchers and clinicians because of vitamin D’s varied roles throughout the body.

Vitamin D has been shown to help reduce inflammation, and therefore has been studied for its effect on post-surgery recovery, as inflammation is a common result after surgery. In addition, vitamin D may have a role in overall heart health and therefore is of interest to researchers for its potential to improve health markers during and after cardiac surgery.

Recently, researchers aimed to expand on the evidence for vitamin D in patients undergoing surgery and examined whether vitamin D impacted the risk of serious complications in a group of patients after undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

They analyzed data from 3,509 patients who underwent surgery and had available information on their vitamin D status. The researchers were interested if vitamin D levels affected the risk of all-cause in-hospital mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, and in-hospital infection.

Higher vitamin D levels were significantly related to decreased chance of morbidity and mortality. Between levels of 4 and 44 ng/ml, every 5 ng/ml increase in vitamin D status was associated with a 7% reduced risk of all outcomes.

“Vitamin D concentrations were associated with a composite of in-hospital death, serious infections, and serious cardiovascular events in patients recovering from non-cardiac surgery,” the researchers concluded.

The researchers call for large randomized trials to determine how vitamin D supplementation prior to surgery influences the rate of certain postoperative outcomes.


Turan, A. et al. The Association of Serum Vitamin D Concentration with Serious Complications After Noncardiac Surgery. Anesthesia and Aanalgesia, 2014.

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