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The Relationship of Vitamin D Deficiency and the Risk of Heart Disease

Home / The Relationship of Vitamin D Deficiency and the Risk of Heart Disease

Med Page Today (8/25, Walsh) recently reported that a person’s vitamin D status can predict their clinical outcome in a trial of patients with heart failure. The study being presented at the
European Society of Cardiology found that lower levels of vitamin D were associated with an increased risk of mortality in patients with congestive heart failure.

The team of New York cardiologists led by Dr. Reisman, Director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center describes how vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in the United States and a growing body of evidence suggests that diminished levels of vitamin D may adversely affect the cardiovascular system. In an article published in Circulation in 2008, the authors found that in a community-based study vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

They found this higher risk was in particular evident in individuals with hypertension. In other studies, lower vitamin D levels have been observed in individuals with heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

In another study presented at the American College of Cardiology in March 2010, in patients whose blood test revealed low vitamin D levels, those who are able to raise their blood levels
were 33% less likely to have a heart attack, 20% less likely to develop heart failure, and 30% less likely to die over an average follow-up period of one year.

Individuals can increase their vitamin D levels by taking vitamin supplements and carefully and briefly exposing their skin to the sun’s vitamin D producing ultraviolet light. Dr. Steven Reisman, a Manhattan Cardiologist recommends that people should refrain from taking supplements on their own. This should always be done under a doctor’s supervision after a blood test evaluating the vitamin D blood level.

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