Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D May Protect Against Peripheral Artery Disease

Date:
April 20, 2008
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
People with low vitamin D levels may face an increased risk for peripheral artery disease, according to scientists. PAD is a common disease that occurs when arteries in the legs become narrowed by fatty deposits, causing pain and numbness and impairing the ability to walk.

People obtain vitamin D by making it themselves (through skin exposure to sunlight), by ingesting foods such as fish and fortified dairy products that contain vitamin D, or by taking dietary supplements.
Credit: iStockphoto/Nikolay Suslov

People with low vitamin D levels may face an increased risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

PAD is a common disease that occurs when arteries in the legs become narrowed by fatty deposits, causing pain and numbness and impairing the ability to walk. PAD affects about eight million Americans and is associated with significant disease and death, according to the American Heart Association.

People obtain vitamin D by making it themselves (through skin exposure to sunlight), by ingesting foods such as fish and fortified dairy products that contain vitamin D, or by taking dietary supplements. Adequate vitamin D levels are necessary for bone health, but scientists are only beginning to explore vitamin D's connection to cardiovascular disease.

"We know that in mice, vitamin D regulates one of the hormone systems that affects blood pressure," said Dr. Michal Melamed, lead author of the study and assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Epidemiology & Population Health at Einstein. "Since cells in the blood vessels have receptors for vitamin D, it may directly affect the vessels, although this has not been fully worked out."

To see whether vitamin D might influence PAD, Dr. Melamed and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey measuring vitamin D levels in the blood of 4,839 U.S. adults. The survey tested these people using the ankle-brachial index, a screening tool for PAD that measures blood flow to the legs. Also measured were other risk factors for PAD such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and presence of diabetes.

The researchers found that higher levels of vitamin D were associated with a lower prevalence of PAD. Among individuals with the highest vitamin D levels --more than 29.2 nanogram per milliliter (ng/mL) -- only 3.7 percent had PAD. Among those with the lowest vitamin D levels -- less than 17.8 ng/mL -- 8.1 percent had PAD.

When the researchers adjusted for age, sex, race and co-existing health problems, they found that PAD was 64 percent more common in the group with the lowest vitamin D levels compared with the group with the highest levels. For each 10 ng/mL drop in vitamin D level, the risk for PAD increased by 29 percent.

While these findings suggest a role for vitamin D in preventing PAD, Dr. Melamed cautions that they don't necessarily show that vitamin D truly deserves the credit. It's possible, she says, that vitamin D levels are a marker for other health practices such as eating a healthy diet. She notes that proving a cause-and-effect relationship between vitamin D and protection against PAD will require a large randomized clinical trial in which some people receive vitamin D supplementation while others do not.

The scientists reported their findings at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference 2008. Other researchers involved in the study were Dr. Paul Muntner at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Paolo Raggi at Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Melamed's research was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Vitamin D May Protect Against Peripheral Artery Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416140954.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2008, April 20). Vitamin D May Protect Against Peripheral Artery Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416140954.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Vitamin D May Protect Against Peripheral Artery Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416140954.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins