Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treating vitamin D deficiency significantly reduces heart disease risk, studies find

Date:
March 17, 2010
Source:
Intermountain Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers in Utah last fall demonstrated the link between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk for coronary artery disease. These new studies show that treating vitamin D deficiency with supplements may help to prevent or reduce a person's risk for cardiovascular disease and a host of other chronic conditions. Researchers also establish what level of vitamin D further enhances that risk reduction.

Preventing and treating heart disease in some patients could be as simple as supplementing their diet with extra vitamin D, according to two new studies at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah.

Related Articles


Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute last fall demonstrated the link between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk for coronary artery disease. These new studies show that treating vitamin D deficiency with supplements may help to prevent or reduce a person's risk for cardiovascular disease and a host of other chronic conditions. They also establish what level of vitamin D further enhances that risk reduction.

Study findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology 59th annual scientific session in Atlanta on March 15, 2010.

"Vitamin D replacement therapy has long been associated with reducing the risk of fractures and diseases of the bone," says Dr. J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. "But our findings show that vitamin D could have far greater implications in the treatment and reduction of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions than we previously thought."

For the first study, researchers followed two groups of patients for an average of one year each. In the first study group, over 9,400 patients, mostly female, reported low initial vitamin D levels, and had at least one follow up exam during that time period. Researchers found that 47 percent of the patients who increased their levels of vitamin D between the two visits showed a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.

In the second study, researchers placed over 31,000 patients into three categories based on their levels of vitamin D. The patients in each category who increased their vitamin D levels to 43 nanograms per milliliter of blood or higher had lower rates of death, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, high blood pressure, depression, and kidney failure. Currently, a level of 30 nanograms per milliliter is considered "normal."

Heidi May, PhD, a cardiovascular clinical epidemiologist with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and one of the study's authors, says the link between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for a variety of diseases is significant.

"It was very important to discover that the 'normal' levels are too low. Giving physicians a higher level to look for gives them one more tool in identifying patients at-risk and offering them better treatment," says Dr. May.

Dr. Muhlestein says the results of these studies will change the way he treats his patients.

"Although randomized trials would be useful and are coming, I feel there is enough information here for me to start treatment based on these findings," he says.

Treatment options in this case are simple, starting with a blood test to determine a patient's vitamin D level. If low levels are detected, supplements and/or increased exposure to sunlight may be prescribed.

Increasing vitamin D intake by 1000 to 5000 international units (IU) a day may be appropriate, depending on a patient's health and genetic risk, says Dr. Muhlestein. He says supplements are the best source of vitamin D because they are relatively inexpensive and can be found at almost any supermarket or drug store. Most supplements provide an average of 400 IU per tablet.

While exposure to 20-30 minutes of sunlight can provide up to 10,000 IU, Dr. Muhlestein says it is important to use sunscreen and avoid the hottest parts of the day in order to avoid sunburn and the harmful UV rays associated with skin cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Intermountain Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Intermountain Medical Center. "Treating vitamin D deficiency significantly reduces heart disease risk, studies find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315161716.htm>.
Intermountain Medical Center. (2010, March 17). Treating vitamin D deficiency significantly reduces heart disease risk, studies find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315161716.htm
Intermountain Medical Center. "Treating vitamin D deficiency significantly reduces heart disease risk, studies find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315161716.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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